MGC LISTED AMONG PUBLIC FOUR-YEAR SCHOOLS WITH LOWEST TUITION RATE
(Cochran, GA) – Middle Georgia College has been included among the U.S. Department of Education’s list of public, four-year institutions with the lowest tuition among the 16 Southern Regional Education Board states, as well as the list of the lowest net price tuition increase from 2008 to 2010. The list was included on the US DOE’s College Affordability and Transparency Report in an effort to be open about higher education.
Between 1994 and 2011, the average tuition increase in the University System was 5 percent at two-year colleges, 7 percent at comprehensive universities, and 8 percent at research universities. Since state support has dropped $1 billion over the last decade, state support per student decreased to $3,000. But, tuition has increased only $2,316 per student on average. In addition, Georgia ranked seventh lowest in tuition and mandatory fees for public four- year institutions in 2009-2010.
However, although Georgia has traditionally funded 75 percent of the cost of instruction to the University System, the recent economic recession has reduced its funding to 55 percent. The University System will receive no money for enrollment growth, and will lose federal stimulus funds. In order to make up this loss, tuition rates would have to increase 35 percent from fall 2010 to fall 2011. The Board of Regents instead chose to increase tuition 3 percent at all University System of Georgia institutions, and for students on the Board’s Guaranteed Tuition Plan, tuition did not increase at all. A special institutional fee, applicable to all USG students and created in January 2009 to offset state budget reductions, was increased, bringing thetotal increase for fall 2011 to an average 9 percent.
MGC’s inclusion in the lowest tuition list reflects the Board of Regents’ efforts to sustain affordability to access institutions as a way of directing more students into this sector. By increasing the number of students at these institutions, the Board of Regents will be able to offer high quality academic instruction at a lower cost than in the System’s research universities.