Tech col­lege students to see tu­ition in­crease

The Covington News - - Local News - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.com

Ge­or­gia’s tech­ni­cal col­lege students will be feel­ing the pinch of higher ed­u­ca­tion when tu­ition costs in­crease by 13 per­cent in 2013.

Thurs­day, the Tech­ni­cal Col­lege Sys­tem of Ge­or­gia voted to in­crease tu­ition, as well as to add a va­ri­ety of other fees to students. This is the first time the board has ever voted to in­crease tu­ition af­ter the start of a school year, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from spokesman Mike Light.

The in­creases come on the heels of Gover­nor Nathan Deal’s di­rec­tive that state agen­cies cut their spend­ing by 3 per­cent, a de­ci­sion that has af­fected all higher ed­u­ca­tion in the state.

Students will be pay- ing $85 per credit hour (an in­crease of $10) be­gin­ning spring se­mes­ter. Bro­ken down, this makes tu­ition for a full time, 15hour course load, a to­tal of $1,275 – $150 more than it is cur­rently.

But the in­creases don’t stop there. Students will also be re­quired to pay a new $50 in­sti­tu­tional fee and a $50 for on­line cour­ses. Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the TCSG, students will spend an av­er­age of $223.

Roughly three-quar­ters of tech­ni­cal col­lege students use HOPE to help pay for their col­lege ex­penses. This pays $60.75 per credit hour, mak­ing those students re­spon­si­ble for about $364 in outof-pocket ex­penses, up from the $214 they pay

cur­rently.

Fac­tor­ing in the cost of books, students are look­ing at pay­ing ap­prox­i­mately $2,000 ($1,086 for HOPE grant re­cip­i­ents) out-of­pocket for their tech­ni­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

“A tu­ition and fee in­crease was made nec­es­sary by the ris­ing ex­penses to de­liver our pro­grams and lower state ap­pro­pri­a­tions,” said TCSG Com­mis­sioner Ron Jack­son in a press re­lease. “A state tech­ni­cal col­lege ed­u­ca­tion re­mains an ex­cel­lent value com­pared to the cost, yet we fully un­der­stand the im­pact that any ad­di­tional ex­pense has on our students. The col­leges will do all that they can to pro­vide sources of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to those who need it most. We’re com­mit­ted to see­ing that all of our students get the op­por­tu­nity they de­serve to be a part of Ge­or­gia’s 21st cen­tury work­force.”

There are 25 tech­ni­cal col­leges in Ge­or­gia, and in 2012, 102,000 students took cour­ses — both in school and vir­tu­ally — at tech­ni­cal col­leges, amounted to 2.7 mil­lion credit hours.

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