The Technical College System of Georgia board on Thursday approved the system’s request for a tuition increase of $10 per credit hour starting next year.
Students at the 25 TCSG colleges, including GNTC, will pay $85 per credit hour beginning in the spring 2013 semester.
Three-quarters of TCSG students use HOPE to help pay for their tuition, mostly in the form of the HOPE grant, which pays $60.75 per credit hour. With the increase, students who enroll under the HOPE grant will pay $364 in out-of-pocket tuition for a full semester, up from the $214 that they currently spend.
In addition, the TCSG board approved a new $50 institutional fee beginning in spring 2013 and a $50 fee for online courses starting in fall 2013. TCSG students will pay, on average, a total of $223 in fees starting in the spring.
Once the expense of books is added in, usually about $500, the total cost to attend a TCSG college full-time for a semester next year will be just under $2,000. The out-of-pocket cost for students who qualify for the HOPE grant will be about $1,086.
“Without this tuition increase and the revenue from the additional fees, we would be forced to close more programs and lay off additional
employees,” said GNTC President Craig McDaniel. “With the continued budget cuts and loss of tuition revenue caused by the changes to the HOPE programs, we are operating with almost $4 million less than we had two years ago. I know this is a tough decision for the TCSG board to make, but it is the only option we have.”
Many students can reduce the cost of their TCSG education if they qualify for the federal Pell grant, which is awarded based on financial need. Last year, more than half of the 170,000 students who enrolled at TCSG colleges utilized the Pell grant.
“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.