Editorial – College is looking out for students
Most college students and their families throughout the nation face the challenges of rising tuition and ancillary costs at the large majority of colleges and universities.
College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick isn't increasing its tuition for 2016-17, which is already a bargain at $4,434 a year.
On Wednesday, the college's leaders told The News they will reduce or even eliminate other fees to a degree that is truly astonishing. Greg Aloia, CCGA's president, said the University System of Georgia is pursuing that approach at all of its colleges.
"It's system-wide, but it's also a nationwide issue," Aloia said. "And I like to think that we're pushing that boundary as a small, quality college in Coastal Georgia that can stand up and say we are doing our share to make college more affordable."
CCGA is asking its faculty members to begin relying on the use of online materials and other resources. Textbooks have dramatically increased in price, making them almost prohibitively expensive. While that endeavor may be difficult for many professors to implement initially, more online materials should continue to become available for colleges throughout the country.
During that transition, CCGA is also expanding book rentals, used book options and a price-match program.
The university will no longer require a campus meal plan. About 80 percent of the students commute, and it's unreasonable to expect them to pay for a plan they don't need. In yet another cost-saving acton, students will no longer have to take a two-credit orientation course and physical education requirements will be refocused.
Currently, about 60 percent of the college students receive need-based scholarships. About 40 percent are the first generation to enroll in college.
Many large and public universities must deal with state legislatures that consistently decrease funding for higher education. Even the smallest private colleges often are forced to seek exorbitant tuition because of falling application numbers. However, many of those colleges tend to build new facilities that are unnecessary.
Less than a decade ago, CCGA transitioned from a two-year community college to a four-year school. Since then, the majors it offers and enrollment have grown exponentially — requiring needed buildings to accommodate them.
With the addition of new cost-saving measures, the college can expect still more students to decide to come to the school.
Their parents will recognize it as a good post-secondary choice — a college that can provide students with the opportunity to earn a degree that can help them move on to successful careers.