Fixed Tuition Ends for New Students

Friday, April 17, 2009

To help handle budget reductions at USG institutions, the Board of Regents ended the guaranteed “Fixed for Four” tuition for incoming freshmen but agreed to honor guaranteed tuition for current students.

UWG students currently enrolled in the University System of Georgia’s guaranteed tuition plan will see no change in their tuition this coming fall while 2009 UWG freshmen will pay tuition at the same per-credit-hour rate charged last year and will be subject to future tuition increases.

USG students who enrolled prior to the start of the guaranteed tuition plan in fall 2006 or who come off the guarantee this fall also will pay the fall 2008 per-credit-hour rate.

For the first time, USG and UWG students not on the tuition guarantee plan will pay the per-credit-hour rate for all classes taken up to 15 credit hours instead of the previous 12-hour tuition payment plan that allowed 15 hours and up at no additional charge. Students on the guaranteed tuition plan, which began in fall 2006, will not be affected by this change.

All students, regardless of whether or not they have the tuition guarantee, will pay a mandatory institutional fee of $100 to help offset budget reductions.

“We will honor the commitments that already have been made to those students in the guaranteed tuition plan and freeze the per-credit-hour tuition rate for new students,” said USG Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. “We want to do as much as feasible to help our students in tough times this year, provide our institutions with budget flexibility in future years and help us address our reduced budget picture for Fiscal Year 2010.”

A new and different model will be effective at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia. Students who take six hours or less will pay a flat tuition of $1,800 per semester and students taking more than six hours will pay a flat 15-hour tuition rate of $3,035. Students at these two institutions who are on the guarantee will not be affected by this change.

By comparision, Fall 2009 freshmen will pay $134 per credit hour at UWG, which is the same rate as last year. West Georgia students who take six hours or less will still pay the hourly rate per credit hour at $804 or less. Approximately 57 percent of undergraduates at UWG register for more than 12 credit hours.

The new tuition model for USG will affect a majority of students, said system officials.

“The bulk of freshmen take more than 12 hours,” said Usha Ramachandran, vice chancellor for Fiscal Affairs for the USG. “Sixty two percent of freshmen take 13 or more credit hours – and that rises to 88 percent at UGA and Tech. The intent of the change to a flat tuition rate of 15 hours at UGA and Tech is to encourage students to take these credits and graduate sooner.”

While budgets are being cut, enrollment showed a significant rise this spring semester at UWG institutions and that could affect higher education in the state, said Davis.

 “While the board’s basic priorities were preserved in the state appropriations, I remain deeply concerned about the challenges of meeting rising enrollment across the entire System with diminished resources,” said Davis.

For more information on the changes in tuition at UWG, call 678-839-6640. For complete information on tuition and fees for the USG, please access online: http://www.usg.edu/student_affairs/tuition/.