The more things change, the more they stay the same: SGSC’s tuition and fees among the lowest in the nation
By Barbara O’Brentz, Communications Coordinator
What is the cost of attending in 2019? Most entering college freshmen and their families underestimate the total cost of attending a four-year institution. For the 2018-2019 school year, the College Board, a not-for-profit organization formed in the late 1800s to expand access to higher education, estimated the average annual cost of tuition and fees was $10,230 for in-state students at public four-year universities — and $35,830 for students at private not-for-profit four-year institutions. These estimates didn’t include room and board, books, supplies, transportation and other expenses a student may incur.
Compare these figures to the College Affordability and Transparency Center’s (CATC) recently released figures, and you’ll find that students attending South Georgia State College (SGSC) are among those paying the lowest tuition in the University System of Georgia (USG). In addition, the college is in the top 10 percent of institutions charging the lowest tuition nationally. The report is based on tuition and required fees for 790 four-year public institutions reporting to the IPEDS Data Collection System.
“South Georgia State College is an educational and economic engine, providing students a pathway to academic and student success,” says SGSC President Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers. “Our institution is one of the most cost-efficient colleges in Georgia. We strive to provide innovative teaching and learning experiences, residential options and a rich array of student activities and athletic programs to create a diverse population of students hailing from as close as the surrounding towns and cities to students who attend from the region, state and across the United States.”
Add 19 academic pathways leading to an Associate of Art or Associate of Science degree, six bachelor’s degree programs including a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, Management, Nursing, Long-term Healthcare Management, Elementary/Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Business and Technical Writing—all taught by highly educated faculty—to the mix, and you will find SGSC has created an environment that connects education with reality and students with their futures.
While the cost of attending college continues to rise within the four-year public sector, SGSC’s tuition and fees have remained in the bottom 10 percent for the last five years; in fiscal year 2020 at $95 per credit hour for students in Georgia including in-state waivers for students in surrounding states, and $359.67 for other out-of-state students. The USG has made it a priority to keep Georgia institutions affordable for students. Out of the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), the USG is currently the fifth lowest state in tuition and fees for four-year institutions.
“In addition to providing federally-funded support, grants and scholarships to more than 80% of our student population, we are grateful for the decisions made by the USG, which allow SGSC to consistently provide an affordable, high quality education for our well- deserving students,” Dr. Thompson-Sellers emphasized. “While it’s true that many things have changed in the college landscape since SGSC was founded in 1906, the institution remains a stalwart in the community, buoyed by its core values to foster a culture of academic and student success, diversity and engagement between faculty, students and the community at large. With one of the lowest tuitions in the country, SGSC will stay on a path forward as it continues to be recognized as a valuable and important member of our community and of the University System of Georgia,” she concludes.