Georgia Second Highest Tuition Increase in Country

Georgia gets the dubious distinction of coming in second place…second place in the country for net tuition and fee increases in the 5 year period from 2008-2013.  Although many city, county, and state government spending held to near flat in the same period, Georgia’s net tuition revenue per student nearly doubled with an increase of 93 percent.  So what state achieved the first place distinction in this dubious contest?  That goes to New Mexico, where the net tuition and fee increase in the 5 year period almost tripled; it increased by 188 percent.

The data is reported by the “State Higher Education Finance” report which was released by the nonprofit association of higher education chief executive officers.

The  calculations are based on “net” tuition which takes into account both the tuition and fees that students pay and also how much state aid adjusts those costs through programs such as Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship program. The amounts were adjusted for inflation, with all dollars expressed in constant 2013 values.

However, although Georgia students pay a lot more in tuition than they did five years ago, the average tuition paid by a full-time Georgia student, is just under $1000 less than the national average with Georgia at $4,484 with the U.S. average at $5,445, the report notes.

During this time period of increased tuition and fees, Georgia was also reducing the award amounts funded through the Hope Scholarship Program.  Based on GSFC (Georgia Student Finance Commission) numbers,  the HOPE Scholarship and HOPE Grant declined from a peak of $748 million in the 2010-11 school year to about $526 million for the current year.

With new rigor requirements, GPA levels (Zell Miller Scholarship), and other changes, Georgia State lawmakers also cut the number of students getting the awards as well as the value of the scholarships. For example, approximately 256,000 students received HOPE aid in 2010-11, but only approximately 198,000 received it this year.

There is some speculation that the HOPE Scholarship may have actually helped catalyze the steep rise in tuition costs, said state Rep. Spencer Frye.

Initially, HOPE covered the full costs of tuition and fees, so when the state Board of Regents hiked tuition, the dollar amount of HOPE scholarships increased in consort to compensate.  With the cost reductions in the Hope program, that is no longer the case.

Looking more closely at Georgia’s state research universities, the increase is more dramatic: in 2002-2003, University of Georgia undergrad tuition and fees were $3,616 per year. This year, it was $10,262 — not adjusted for inflation — according to state Board of Regents statistics; next year the tuition rate increases $560.

The State Board of Regents approved a 7 percent tuition increase for UGA. Georgia Tech students will see an increase of  9 percent more next year, but at most state schools the increase is a more modest 2.5 percent.

Now that the Hope Scholarship has gone through the cost reduction process, perhaps Georgia’s state universities should as well.  Perhaps, in the next five years, Georgia can come strive for best in class for lowest tuition and fees increases.


Georgia Tech 2014-2015 Hope Scholarship Award Amounts

Georgia Tech has published payment award amounts for the Hope Scholarship and Zell Miller Scholarship.  Here they are:

2014-2015 HOPE Scholarship Award Hourly Rate

Number of Hours
Regular – Non Guaranteed Tuition Payment
1 $226.00
2 $452.00
3 $678.00
4 $904.00
5 $1,130.00
6 $1,356.00
7 $1,582.00
8 $1,808.00
9 $2,034.00
10 $2,260.00
11 $2,486.00
12 $2,712.00
13 $2,938.00
14 $3,164.00
15 $3,390.00


2014-2015 Zell Miller Scholarship Award Hourly Rate

Number of Hours
Regular – Non Guaranteed Tuition Payment
5th Year CO-OP and Study Abroad Tuition Payment
1 $2,675.00 $300.00
2 $2,675.00 $600.00
3 $2,675.00 $900.00
4 $2,675.00 $1,200.00
5 $2,675.00 $1,500.00
6 $2,675.00 $1,800.00
7 $4,501.00 $2,100.00
8 $4,501.00 $2,400.00
9 $4,501.00 $2,700.00
10 $4,501.00 $3,000.00
11 $4,501.00 $3,300.00
12 $4,501.00 $3,600.00
13 $4,501.00 $3,900.00
14 $4,501.00 $4,200.00
15 $4,501.00 $4,501.00

University of Georgia Hope Scholarship Award Amounts 2014-2015

The University of Georgia has posted hope scholarship award amounts for the 2014-2015 school year. As a reminder, the University of Georgia implemented a Plus/Minus grading system in the summer of 2006; however, for the purpose of calculating the cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) for HOPE Scholarship eligibility, regulations recognize only letter grades of A through F so any Plus or Minus will be disregarded.  Therefore a B-, B, or B+ are all considered a 3.0, An A- or A is a 4.0, while C-, C, or C+ is a 2.0, for example.

As a result of UGA’s +/- system and Hope Scholarship method of GPA calculation, the GPA and HOPE Attempted Hours used in HOPE eligibility calculations often do not match the cumulative GPA and attempted hours on official UGA transcripts.

14-15 HOPE Amounts (Maximum $226 per Credit Hour)


Flat Tuition Rate Students
Hours 14-15 Tuition Covered by HOPE
15 or higher $3,390
14 $3,164
13 $2,938
12 $2,712
11 $2,486
10 $2,260
9 $2,034
8 $1,808
7 $1,582
6 $1,356
5 $1,130
4 $904
3 $678
2 $452
1 $226

To qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship, students must graduate from an eligible high school 2007 or later with at least a 3.7 grade point average (GPA) as calculated by HOPE Scholarship regulations and must have scored at least a 1200 on the SAT or a 26 on the ACT, in a single test administration prior to high school graduation or be their high school Valedictorian or Salutatorian.

Initial eligibility for the Zell Miller Scholarship is determined by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). Students determined eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship are subject to all the HOPE Scholarship eligibility requirements except they must maintain a minimum 3.3 grade point average (GPA) on all coursework attempted since high school graduation instead of the minimum 3.0 gpa required for HOPE Scholarship recipients.

Zell Miller Scholarship Award Amounts

The Zell Miller Scholarship award cannot exceed the student’s current UGA standard Undergraduate tuition amount on a per hour basis. The Zell Miller Scholarship amount initially reflected on UGA 2014-15 financial aid Awards assumes the maximum amount for which students are eligible for the semester. UGA Students Charged a Flat Tuition Rate

For 2014-15 the Zell Miller Scholarship provides a maximum Award Amount of:

  • $4,295 to students enrolled in 7 or more hours, and
  • $2,552 to students enrolled in 6 or fewer hours.

14-15 Zell Miller Scholarship Amounts


Flat Tuition Rate Students
Hours 14-15 Tuition Covered by Zell
15 or higher $4,295.00
14 $4,295.00
13 $4,295.00
12 $4,295.00
11 $4,295.00
10 $4,295.00
9 $4,295.00
8 $4,295.00
7 $4,295.00
6 $2,552.00
5 $2,552.00
4 $2,552.00
3 $2,552.00
2 $2,552.00
1 $2,552.00

Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant Award for Hope Grant Recipients

Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant Award

Good news for Hope Grant recipients!  Although the Hope Grant does not supply funds for books or supplies, there is an award available to Hope Grant recipients that does.

Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) students who are receiving the HOPE Grant may also be eligible for additional financial assistance from a Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG) Award for the following TCSG programs:

Commercial Truck Driving
Diesel Mechanic
Early Childhood Care/Education
Healthcare Technologies
Information Technology
Practical Nursing

To qualify for a Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant, a TCSG student must be fully admitted to the college, enrolled in one of the above programs and receiving the HOPE Grant for the same term.

The amount of the SIWDG Award is a fixed amount* for each term of enrollment:
Enrolled Hours Award Amount per term
9+ hours $500.00
3 – 8 hours $250.00
1 – 2 hours $125.00

*Commercial Truck Driving – enrolled 9+ hours; one-time award $1,000.00

Contact your area TCSG college for more information.
*Eligibility for the SIWDG Award for the Commercial Truck Driving program is for
one term only. The HOPE GED Grant, HOPE Grant, and SIWDG Award can be
awarded in the same term, if all other eligibility requirements are met up to cost
of attendance. High school students in dual enrollment programs are not eligible
for the SIWDG Award.