Inflation is seen and felt everywhere in America. Gas prices are rising, grocery bills are unbearable, and the everyday small talk heard around the nation focuses on rising prices. The rising cost of goods isn’t the only thing that’s depleting wallets at faster rates than ever before. Colleges and Universities are also ending an unusual tuition hike pause that was seen over the last two years and the course of the pandemic. Now, many high education facilities are once again raising prices, but one state is going against the grain, as they plan on cutting college costs.
It is a measure that is nearly unheard of in higher ed. Generally speaking, colleges raise prices every year. Not only is this typical, but the increase over time shows just how much college price tags have increased, often twice as high as inflation rates. Just a few days ago, the Arizona Board of Regents that oversees the state’s three public universities implemented college price hikes starting next year. But current and near-future students attending public universities and colleges in Georgia can feel a little better, knowing the Peach State will not only not raise prices, but will actually be cutting college costs instead.
According to reports from the Associated Press, the University System of Georgia Regents met Tuesday, April 12th, at Albany State University to convene over next year’s tuition and fee rates. The board approved the cutting college costs measure for the system’s 26 schools where some 340 thousand students attend college. The cutback across the board will see an average slash of about 7.6% next year in college fees.
In cutting college costs in Georgia, the typical student will save anywhere from $226 for a full two-semester school year at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah to a whopping $1,088 at Georgia Tech. Macon-based Middle Georgia State University will be the only expectation to the approval, with small hikes in price. In-state graduates here will see a $20 rise next year as part of a three-year plan to raise tuition so that it more closely aligns with what is charged at similar universities.
Even before this approval cutting college costs in Georgia, the state has been leading the initiative to make degrees more affordable for all. The state’s average tuition and fees are lower than nearly all other surrounding state rates that encompass the Southern Regional Education Board. Similarly, across the nation, Georgia fares well as well. Data reports that only nine states are beating Georgia’s tuition rates, with Florida being the cheapest state average for tuition costs.
While the news is promising to many, families shouldn’t grow too accustomed to Georgia’s plan in cutting college costs. Across the nation, high ed departments are already imposing tuition hikes for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. If anything, it will be interesting to see over time how the decision may impact enrollment at Georgia colleges and universities. Steep enrollment declines have been reported across the nation, and making college more affordable is a sure-fire way to combat that.