Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

What's Up with Tuition? Just Guess; Rates Will Be Higher Next Year at Georgia's Colleges, Universities, Chancellor Says

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

What's Up with Tuition? Just Guess; Rates Will Be Higher Next Year at Georgia's Colleges, Universities, Chancellor Says

Article excerpt

Byline: BRANDON LARRABEE, The Times-Union

ATLANTA -- Students at the state's 34 colleges and universities can expect to pay more in tuition next year, Chancellor Tom Meredith said Wednesday.

Following his annual budget presentation to lawmakers, Meredith told reporters that he expected tuition to go up in the next academic year, though he said he didn't yet know how large the hike might be.

"There'll be a tuition increase in the fall. It's a little early to speculate," Meredith said.

The hike will come despite Gov. Sonny Perdue's recommendation that the General Assembly add $103.4 million to the state Board of Regents' budget in the next fiscal year -- which begins July 1 -- to cover enrollment increases. Meredith said the additional money could temper any increase in tuition.

"With the governor's recommendation, then hopefully we can keep tuition as low as possible," he said.

Last year, the regents briefly considered an unprecedented midyear hike after an accounting move by Perdue left a hole in the university system's budget. However, lobbying by Perdue and others persuaded the regents to back off at the last minute.

Tuition has risen at the beginning of the year, sometimes dramatically, to cover budget holes in the past few years.

Meanwhile, Meredith said he hopes his tuition task force will report to him before the legislative session ends, likely some time in March or April. That task force's mission "is much bigger than just tuition for next year," Meredith said, noting that it could look into whether students should pay more for certain classes or if they go to class at times when demand is high.

"They are looking at how we handle tuition in terms of structure," he said. …

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