WHAT IT MEANS
A 2.5 percent tuition increase means $35 more per semester, from $1,388 to $1,423 for in-state student. Tuition for out-of-state students will increase $128 per semester, from $5,129 to $5,257.
Source: Dalton State College
Bad news for Dalton State College students: tuition is going up again.
The good news is, they will pay only $35 more per semester if they're in-state residents.
Dalton State students also will pay $20 more in student fees, bringing that total to $443 a semester.
The Board of Regents of the University of Georgia system approved a 2.5 percent tuition increase, the smallest in a decade, according to Dalton State officials.
The school's tuition increase is below the national trend for this spring, which has landed between 4 and 5 percent, according to Thomas Harnisch, policy analyst with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
The Georgia Board of Regents kept tuition increases lower because it received an increase in support from the state Legislature, he said.
The Board of Regents approved $1.8 billion in budget money and state appropriations for the university system for the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of $89.6 million, or 5 percent from the current year, according to a news release.
The Legislature, according to University System of Georgia Vice Chancellor for Fiscal Affairs John Brown, funded $72.5 million for enrollment growth and increases in costs to current employee and retiree health benefit programs.
Over the last five years, Georgia public colleges and universities have had the second-highest percentage of enrollment growth in the country, a positive sign for the state's economy, Harnisch said.
In another reduction at Dalton State, students taking four hours or less now will pay a $100 per semester institutional fee instead of $200, said Scott Bailey, vice president for fiscal affairs at the college. The fee was implemented several years ago to help offset the loss of state funding.
Bailey estimated it will affect about 1,600 students at the college.
The new student fee at Dalton State will be used to provide transportation for students going to and from the main campus to off-campus parking facilities, such as the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau, he said. A portion of the money will be used to buy two 12-passenger vans in the next two years to replace the current ones, Bailey said.
Now, students pay $65 in fees for parking and transportation-related expenses, he said.
Harnisch said that, at state schools nationwide, student fees have picked up over the last few years as states cut funding.
"But fees are traditionally more transparent than tuition increases and generally have more student input and go towards a specific purpose," he said.
At Dalton State, a student budget committee and the board of regents have to approve fees.