Fewer Than 100 Illegal Immigrants in Georgia Colleges; an Analysis Also Shows Charging Them Out-of-State Tuition Is Adequate

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Byline: WALTER C. JONES

ATLANTA - There are fewer than 100 illegal aliens attending Georgia's public colleges and universities, according to an estimate Tuesday from the University System of Georgia.

A firm number will be known Aug. 10, the deadline for all of the 35 schools to report to the Board of Regents, but a committee looking into how the colleges handle illegal aliens is asking the schools to turn in their report sooner. The committee of five regents and five college presidents met Tuesday at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The question of illegal immigrants getting discounted, in-state tuition has become an issue in this year's campaigns. It arose after a traffic arrest revealed that a Kennesaw State University student was getting the discount even though she immigrated illegally to the United States as a child.

During Tuesday's meeting, University System staff presented their estimate along with an analysis showing that the out-of-state tuition the illegal immigrants are supposed to be charged more than covers the actual costs of providing them an education.

At the research institutions like Tech, the University of Georgia and Georgia State University, the out-of-state tuition is $26,000 per year while the cost of providing an education is $18,000. The Medical College of Georgia's costs and tuition weren't included.

At the regional schools like Armstrong Atlantic State University and Augusta State University, the tuition is $17,000 while the cost is $11,000, and at the two-year schools tuition of $10,000 more than covers the $9,000 in costs.

Only five of the public colleges have more qualified applicants than they can admit. UGa, the Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State and Georgia College & State University turn away applicants who meet their standards. …