"Higher" Education

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Over the past three years students in Georgia have seen the cost of a college education skyrocket with tuition hikes of four percent in 2003, 10 percent in 2004 and a recently approved five percent hike for next year.

VSU president Ron Zaccari says this latest hike makes it possible to meet next year's budget.

"We're okay. We built our budget on a fiver percent hike, so we're okay with this fiver percent hike. Do we always want more? I think that's going to be discussed next year, and we'll see where it ends up."

The added cost should work out to about $58 per VSU student, per semester.

Students at VSU say they understand the need for yet another tuition hike, even though they don't really like it. They say even with the added cost, they know they are still getting a great educational bargain.

Christopher Coleman says, "Georgia's got some of the best tuition rates in the country. I understand the cost of tuition, the cost of providing class goes up; $58 personally isn't going to hurt me very much."

Even with the added cost, Georgia still has lowest tuition out of 16 southern states. Florida is just two spots behind, meaning our region continues to be home to affordable higher education despite the tuition increases.

VSU leaders say the tuition hike will allow the university to manage its booming student population. Right now, tuition at a Georgia Regional University, like VSU, is about $450 more expensive than it was three years ago.

In Florida, tuition has risen about $570, but our two states are still lower than tuition at other southern schools.