Money keeps many people from getting an education. But it’s especially so for a group of Georgia students whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally. The state bars them from the top five public colleges and requires them to pay out-of-state tuition at the others. Many put their education dreams on hold or take years to complete a degree. Here are the stories of two undocumented students who should be finishing college this year. Instead, one is just starting while the other is a sophomore at a community college.
Eight public institutions of higher education across Georgia officially became four on Tuesday, as the state Board of Regents gave final approval to a consolidation scheme that’s been more than a year in the making. While substantive changes have been—and continue to be—in progress, the big day on campus was all about branding.
Georgia Regents University Augusta is the official name of a new institution resulting from the merger of two Augusta universities. The decision came after some objected to dropping Augusta from the name. And it has branding implications for both the university and the city.
Student-loan debt is ballooning across the country, with some economists calling it the next big challenge for the economy. The average student-loan debt at Georgia’s four-year public and private universities grew to nearly $19,000 last year. Nationally, average debt tops $25,000.
Classes began in Columbus this week for students of Virginia College, the latest ‘for-profit’ institution to open in Georgia. But as the number of ‘for profit’ colleges climbs, so do student loans in default. Officials with the ‘for profit’ industry say the trend is troubling, but not surprising given the economy and the typical student, who is often older and has a family. Industry critics however cite aggressive recruiting tactics luring students who are not in good financial position.
Officials with Georgia’s system of colleges and universities say increased spending in the face of state budget cuts is necessary to keep and attract students. With reduced state funding, the System has hiked tuition rates nearly 50 percent over the last several years, along with increasing student fees.
The Board of Regents appointed Republican Hank Huckaby the university system's new chancellor on Friday. After the unanimous vote to name him, Chancellor-elect Huckaby gave an explanation for the recurrent increases in tuition over the past several years.