University of Georgia students enter the main library building on the first day of UGA's fall semester Monday, Aug. 18, 2003, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/University of Georgia, Paul Efland)
State officials have put a deadline on merging eight public colleges into four.
University system officials said Tuesday that the newly formed institutions will launch in January, a year after Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced the merger as a way to save money by reducing administrative costs across the state.
The Board of Regents will hear recommendations this summer for what to name the merged campuses.
The plan will consolidate Waycross College and South Georgia College in Douglas; Augusta State College and Georgia Health Sciences University; Middle Georgia College and Macon State College; and Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University.
Huckaby has declined to say how much money will be saved by the mergers or how many jobs may be eliminated.