An Indianapolis-based educational foundation is giving $600,000 to three Savannah higher education institutions. The Lumina Foundation is aiming to double the number of Latino students enrolling in and completing college in a four county area.
The state Senate's Higher Education Commitee chairman says, he's been assured, there won't be any mergers of Georgia's historically black universities. Savannah-area State Senator Buddy Carter says, that word comes from University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby. Carter says, Huckaby told him, historically-black schools won't be on a coming list of colleges to be merged amid legislative cost-cutting.
Tourism and retail spending are boosting Savannah's economy, but those are the only positive signs in a third quarter economic report. Armstrong Atlantic State University's Center for Regional Analysis released its quarterly forecast this week. Center director Michael Toma says, out of seven economic trends the forecast tracks, only hotel stays and retail recepts posted gains.
College boosters looking for clues as to what state universities could be merged got little help in a recently adopted set of principles. The Board of Regents approved guidelines for merging public colleges and universities to save money and improve education. Savannah and Armstrong Atlantic State Universities are perennial merger targets because they are close together.
Georgia State University System Chancellor Hank Huckaby is urging campuses "not to panic" as he studies possible campus mergers. Huckaby this month said, he'd be reviewing consolidations as a way to cut down on school expenses. This week he's visiting two schools long-considered prime merger candidates, Savannah State and Armstrong Atlantic State Universities.
A bigger share of Georgia students are defaulting on federal student loans. The latest figures from the US Education Department show, last year, 9% of the state's student borrowers defaulted on their loans within the first two-years of repayment. That's up from 6% in the two previous years. Experts blame a weak job market and rising tuition.
Despite a national survey showing employers expect to hire more new college graduates this year, young job seekers are having a hard time finding work. Many are coming to the conclusion that their expectations will have to be trimmed. Some are taking jobs in sales and customer service.
Savannah is out-performing the rest of the state when it comes to job and salary growth. A California-based think tank puts the coastal city No.1 in Georgia and 40th nationally for best-performing cities, economically. The ranking by the Milken Institute relies heavily on job and salary growth in the high-tech sector.