- Despite pandemic, USG enrollment remains on rise
- Socialize Responsibly
- Award Recipient - Eron Merritt
- Training Opportunities
The global pandemic has made many things different, but for the second consecutive year The Georgia Board of Regents voted to keep tuition and fees for the University System of Georgia’s 26 public colleges and universities the same.
"USG over the past several years has remained committed to making public higher education as affordable as possible for students and their families, while maintaining results that rank our campuses among some of the best in the nation," USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said in a statement to Patch.
This news came after the release of a Georgia Budget & Policy Institute report that despite the pandemic, total enrollment at USG schools rose by 1.1 percent and first-time freshman enrollment increased by five percent.
Numbers vary amongst the research universities and state colleges and universities, but Dual Enrollment students increased by nine percent and following a pre-pandemic trend undergraduate enrollment among Latinx, Asian and Black students continued to grow.
“It is more important than ever for the Board of Regents to remove barriers that may stand in the way of students’ success,” the board’s chairman, Sachin Shailendra, said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
About 44% of University System of Georgia students borrowed money to help pay for college last school year. The average debt was $6,177, nearly $1,000 more than a decade ago. The increase, USG officials say, is about $400, once adjusted for inflation.
Visit HOPE & State Aid Programs for more information about financial aid programs administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission.
As part of a scholar program at Benjamin Banneker High School, Eron Merritt would spend fourth period working at the largest daily newspaper in the Southeast.
“Those real-life experiences prepared me to be able to communicate,” said Merritt, who graduated in 2000 and earned the HOPE Scholarship for his freshman year at Clayton State University.
“It was free money to go get education. It helped because my parents didn’t have to come out of pocket for my education,” said Merritt, whose financial aid package included work study. “Most people had like a part time job after school, or they were getting their first job when they went to college.
"Working at the AJC put me a little bit ahead, dealing with older adults and the functionality of business.”
The allure of becoming an adult with a good job led Merritt to leave school for full-time employment. However, despite a successful well-paid position, he soon realized, “I was not really into labor."
"Being on my feet wasn’t for me, but I knew I had goals and aspirations of business," he said. “I knew not (finishing college), I wasn't going to be able to reach those goals.”
The goal of the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant assists Georgians to attend and afford eligible private colleges.
Merritt used this program for seven semesters in 2004 and 2005, graduating from Georgia Military College with a degree in Business Administration and minimal postsecondary educational debt.
Merritt admits that the various state-supported financial aid programs he used, “gave me a head start (and) truly allowed me to further my education.”
Remember, GSFC’s outreach staff is available year-round to conduct FREE training's, workshops and information sessions across the state of Georgia.
Over the last year, GSFC’s outreach team has incorporated online live webinars.
- State financial aid programs (HOPE, Dual Enrollment, etc.)
- Transcript Exchange
- FAFSA Completion
- GAfutures.org Overview
Visit the Outreach module to learn more about the GSFC’s outreach team what services are provided.
Contact your outreach representative to schedule your training, or contact our offices:
Phone: 770.724.9000 Toll Free: 800.505.GSFC
K -12 email: email@example.com
Postsecondary email: SAS@gsfc.org