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GRU can't tell applicants how much tuition will be

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:53 PM
Last updated Wednesday, March 27, 2013 12:00 AM
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When Alleluia Community School senior Heather Kent began applying to colleges last year, her first concern was about money.

She searched the Web site of her first choice, Georgia Regents University, for tuition information, found none, but applied anyway.

Even though she received her acceptance letter last month and has decided to attend, she won’t find out how much she’ll be paying until perhaps as late as May.

“When I looked up (tuition) at first, I couldn’t find it, so I was really confused,” said Kent, 18. “Still not knowing kind of bugs me.”

Applications to GRU from incoming freshmen are continuing to flow, despite the fact the University System of Georgia has not set the base tuition rate for students entering in fall 2013. Existing students will be grandfathered in to the base tuition they paid in fall 2012, but incoming freshman and transfer students in non-health science degrees and the bachelor of nursing program will pay a yet-to-be determined new tuition.

Carol Rychly, GRU vice president for academic and faculty affairs, said the USG Board of Regents is expected to announce the base tuition at either its April or May meeting.

GRU plans to gradually increase its tuition for incoming freshman every year. However, each class will be locked into their entering rate for four years.

“We are very sensitive to trying to keep the tuition as low as possible and to ramp it up very, very slowly and to have this hold harmless so when students enter as freshmen they know and can plan ahead,” Rychly said. “The best way to make college affordable is to take a load and a program that will allow you to graduate as soon as possible. That means at least a 15-hour load (per semester), which is what it takes to graduate in four years.”

Tuition for students entering a health
sciences related program will not see a rate increase because they are not considered to be incoming freshman, said Vice Provost Roman Cibirka.

Students in all degree programs, however, will likely see an across-the-board increase to whatever rate their base tuition is set. The University System is expected to announce its recommendation for tuition increases at its meeting in April.

Last year, the board enacted a 2.5 percent increase per student at most schools, which was the smallest tuition hike in a decade.

Although GRU is aiming to mature into an R1 research university, on par with the top in the state, Cibirka said the tuition is one aspect that will not compare with the other top institutions.

“We will not raise our tuition rates up to an R1 university,” Cibirka said. “That would be unrealistic to achieving the mission of both the former institution and the new institution going forward.”

Despite the tuition unknowns, several Richmond County high school guidance counselors said graduating seniors have not shied away from applying to GRU.

Westside High School senior guidance counselor Regina Thompson said she has about 20 students that have applied and still consider the school to be more affordable from out-of-state institutions. While attending GRU, students will be able to live at home and not spend money on room and board, which makes the local choice more affordable than other in-state schools where they’d have to spend money on dormitories.

“Nobody has really been concerned with the tuition part because they’re thinking it will be around the same or a little bit more but nothing extreme,” Thompson said. “Even if it’s a little more, it’s still more affordable versus if they were to go away.”

Thompson said students’ main concerns are around the more stringent admissions requirements enacted this year after consolidation between Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.

The minimum freshman index, a calculation of GPA and either SAT or ACT scores, increased from 1950 at the former ASU to 2040 at GRU for fall 2013. The minimum index will be raised 100 points every year until it reaches the 2500 required for research universities, according to media relations director Christen Carter.


• Existing ASU students in non-health sciences programs will continue at the fall 2012 ASU rate plus the standard University System fall 2013 increase. In other words, rates for currently enrolled non-health sciences students will not be affected by the consolidation.

• Effective fall 2013, rates for new freshmen and transfer students in non-health sciences programs will increase slightly in addition to the standard University System fall 2013 increase. This rate will also apply to pre-nursing students currently enrolled at ASU who are accepted into GRU’s nursing program.

• Effective fall 2013, rates for returning GHSU and newly admitted GRU undergraduates in health sciences programs (other than current ASU pre-nursing) will continue at the fall 2012 GHSU rate plus the standard University System fall 2013 increase. In other words, rates for these students will not be affected by the consolidation.

• Effective fall 2013, GRU will implement a “Finish in Four” incentive for undergraduate programs that will apply the full-time tuition rate to students who enroll in 10 or more credit hours per term. This completion incentive will apply to any of the rates described above.


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fatboyhog 03/27/13 - 06:49 am

is gonna Scru it's students. But, so long as the government hands out the money, that's what they are going to charge. Someone has to pay for the Land of GRU, and it shall be the minions. Where is Jerry Reed when you need him? His new song could be "GRU got the Goldmine, You got the Shaft"

gaflyboy 03/27/13 - 07:11 am
It will be ...

A major selling point of a merger, including this one is increased efficiencies and lower operating cost. Of course the tuition will be lower than the previous semesters.
What? – Are you laughing?

Riverman1 03/27/13 - 07:29 am
Problems with the GRU Name

I'm just laughing at the problems with the GRU name. Yesterday, in an article, we were told Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey both graduated from GRU. Well, I know MCG was meant, but that is confusing. Next it was said Gingrey would hold a press conference at GRU. Which one? Frog Hollow or Summerville? Today we read GRU tuition is going up. Which one? See my confusion?

Red Headed Step Child
Red Headed Step Child 03/27/13 - 09:35 am
The tuition was listed...

In true GRU fashion, it was photoshopped out...

NrthAugustaSam 03/27/13 - 10:27 am
Come On Chronicle!!!

Dig a little deeper. Do some analysis on this. Get some projections, etc. Increasing tuition + higher standards = Many of Augusta's students cannot go to the GRU. Add this stuff up and tell the public what is really going on. This was a sugar coated article Tracey!

bubbasauce 03/27/13 - 02:24 pm
We have to pass it first,

We have to pass it first, then read the fine print later. Don't worry, tuition is not going up, trust me. Brings back very bad memories.

bclicious 03/27/13 - 09:06 pm
Latest news concerning GRU tuition rates:

It is going to cost a lot more! Also, I did a lot of research and discovered that next year it is going to cost even more.

But wait; all those attending ASU now get a chance to put a name on their degree that no one in America will recognize as a creditable University.

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