News 12 This Morning / Monday, Sept. 17, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If you attend a technical college in Georgia, you will be paying more money next semester for school.
Recently, the technical system of Georgia approved a tuition increase for all students. Starting in January, students across the state will be paying $10 more per credit hour, plus an instructional fee.
"Why?" asked student Bih Johnson. "My expenses will have to go up and there will be more money coming out of pocket from our family and that's not too good."
The increase brings up tuition at Augusta Tech from $75 to $85 per hour.
"It hurts," Johnson said. "It would hurt if you add the $10 per credit for the time that you're in school, it adds up."
After budget cuts this year, President Terry Elam says it was the only option.
"State funding levels are down, no one wants higher taxes so it's actually shifting the cost to the student," Elam said.
He says this isn't uncommon, though. They've actually increased tuition every year.
"We've cut $5 million dollars of state funding out of Augusta Tech's budget that has been filled by tuition increases," Elam said.
The increase will affect every technical college in the state of Georgia, but students say $10 seems like a lot.
"I think it could be a little less than $10 an hour because, like myself, I'm taking 15 hours this quarter, so that would be an increase of basically $150 for me," said student Dalton Green.
Elam says the tuition is still the cheapest around.
"The next closest school in this region with tuition is $101 a semester hour," Elam said. "We're gonna be at 85. We're still a bargain."
The students agree.
"That's the reason why I came here," Johnson said. "That's one of the biggest reasons why I came here because the amount per credit hour is the cheapest around."
They say it still gives you the most value for your money.
"It's an increase in cost, but I think the value that they're getting will more than over shadow that," Elam said.
"At the end of the day, you want to get a good job and this school does put you there," Johnson said.
The hike also includes a $50 instructional fee. The changes go into affect Jan. 1.
This increase will not affect online classes, but the technical system of Georgia did approve an increase for those as well. It will start next fall and will cost an additional $50 per online class.