Clayton State University continues to be one of the most affordable options to earn a degree in the metro Atlanta area, even as tuition rates are set to rise this fall. The Board of Regents has announced a 2.5 percent increase in tuition for the upcoming school year at all University System of Georgia institutions.
“Limiting tuition increases to 2.5 percent will help enable institutions to balance the critical needs of affordability and quality for students and families,” said Chancellor Steve Wrigley. “At the same time, USG will continue building upon systemwide initiatives to ensure on-time college completion, increase student access to free textbooks and reduce student borrowing. USG institutions are advancing our priorities of affordability, efficiency and degree attainment while continuing to provide students with a high-quality education.”
Students at Clayton State will pay $2,540 per semester for in-state tuition and $9,241 for out-of-state tuition for 2019-2020. In the previous school year, tuition rates at the University were $2,478 and $9,016, respectively.
In-state tuition for graduate programs at Clayton State, except for Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Administration, went up slightly from $2,350 to $2,397. Out-of-state rates stayed the same.
Undergraduate online program costs decreased from $202 per credit hour to $183, while the online master’s programs remained the same. Student fees to cover expenses ranging from parking to technology to use of the student activity center did not change.
“This increase is a careful effort by the Board of Regents to balance its goal of continued affordability with the goal of quality student learning with requires modest increased resources necessary for student success,” said Dr. Hynes, President of Clayton State University.
While changes to tuition rates will affect some students, Clayton State has designed several programs to ensure students finish strong academically, which have contributed to a 3-percentage point increase in freshmen retention rates and 3.5 percentage point increase in four-year graduation rates, thereby reducing their financial burden.
Graduate Sooner is an effort to decrease student loan debt by focusing on strategies to improve graduation rates. Through summer courses, online learning, mini-sessions, or study abroad, students aim to complete 30 credits a year.
“Why 30? Because it’s the math. Students earning 30 credits per year will complete their degree in four years,” said Eric Tack, Executive Director of Advising, Retention, and Engagement. “By reducing the time to complete their degree from six years to four years, students will save the expenses associated with fees at a university and ultimately decrease student loan debt.”
This same idea is also a focus of the Bridge Program for some incoming freshman. Students can enroll in six college credits during the summer term before their fall start. Combined with academic support, these students enter their first year prepared to tackle the rigors of college and ultimately graduate at a higher rate.
“Students who have participated in our Bridge Program earn higher grades, earn more credits, and have a higher retention rate than those comparable new freshmen that do not after one year,” Tack said.
The University’s corporate partnerships with the Coca-Cola Foundation and Mailchimp have also provided a number of specialized scholarships for first-generation, international, and female students to encourage them to enter high-demand fields in the state of Georgia such as information technology, computer science, and supply chain management.
“Our scholarship programs, proactive financial aid outreach, and our effort to decrease the time it takes for a student to earn a degree, all seek to assist students with completing their degree,” said Dr. Stephen Schultheis, associate vice-president of Enrollment Management.
USG officials have continued to work to curb the costs of higher education, charging tuition rates that average 25 percent less than rates charged by peer institutions in other states, according to a recent Georgia audit report.
Tuition rates for each institution can be found here: https://www.usg.edu/fiscal_affairs/tuition_and_fees.