Tuition increases coming to Middle Georgia colleges

Tuition is going up at colleges across Georgia for the 2015-2016 academic year, and Middle Georgia State College will have one of the biggest hikes.

Most schools will see an increase of 2.5 percent, but 10 colleges will have varying increases to cater to their “specific needs,” according to the University System of Georgia.

Among those 10 are Georgia College & State University, which will see a 3 percent increase, and Middle Georgia State, which will bump tuition by 9 percent. The University of Georgia and Georgia Tech also will have 9 percent increases.

“To ensure we can continue to offer quality public higher education, we must continue to invest in our institutions,” Chancellor Hank Huckaby said in a statement. “We have carefully assessed the tuition rates for our institutions to make sure we are balancing the increasing costs of providing public higher education while keeping tuition and fees as affordable as possible.”

Last month, the Board of Regents approved a change in name, mission and course offerings at Middle Georgia State, which will become Middle Georgia State University effective July 1.

The reason for Middle Georgia State’s tuition increase, according to the university system, is to help offset the college’s costs for providing university-level courses while it is expanding bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school will begin offering a master’s program in information technology.

“It will cost Middle Georgia more to operate as a university, which is reflected in the higher tuition rate,” the university system said.

Schools with a tuition increase of 2.5 percent include Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia Southwestern State University and Gordon State College.

Despite the rising costs, USG officials said their rates are lower compared with several other institutions.

“Our university system continues to offer some of the lowest tuition rates among our peer state public higher education systems,” said John Brown, the university system’s vice chancellor for fiscal affairs. “For example, out of the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board, our university system is the seventh lowest in tuition and fees for four-year institutions.”

To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382.