The University System Board of Regents approved a 9 percent tuition hike for University of Georgia students and a 5 percent hike for North Georgia University Students today.
In-state residents will pay about $800 more to attend UGA during the 2015–2016 school year and $200 more for a full load of classes at UNG.
The Board of Regents says that:
Increased tuition funding will allow UGA to invest in its academics, programs and services to better support students, which will also help the flagship institution maintain its Top 20 ranking of public universities nationally. The funding will help retain and hire additional faculty and help reduce class size. Kiplinger's 100 Best Values in Public Colleges ranked UGA #10 this year. UGA's tuition is lower than more than half of the flagship institutions' tuition in the Southern Regional Education Board.
However, tuition has been rising faster than inflation for decades nationwide, so even an apples-to-apples comparison doesn't tell the whole story. Taxpayer support made up half the funding for higher education; after years of cuts, it's now more like a quarter.
Tweeted Claire Suggs, education analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute:
Years of cuts in state $ continue to take toll on @BORUSG: tuition up 2.5% @ 20 schools next year, up 9% @ UGA & Ga Tech.— Claire Suggs (@ClaireVSuggs) April 14, 2015
Ten years ago, UGA's tuition and fees were $4,862—less than half of what they are today.
In part, by raising tuition, lawmakers had been raiding lottery funds to plaster over state cuts, knowing that many parents wouldn't have to pay the difference. Keep in mind that now, though, tuition has risen so much that HOPE no longer covers the full cost of tuition for many students, so the hikes will hit them (or their parents) directly in their wallets. That means they'll have less money to spend on goods and services in Athens (not to mention luxury apartments, the backbone of the local economy).
On the bright side, UGA's 10,000 employees are in line for 2 percent raises this year.