Posted: 5:04 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Money for college
Georgia is one of nearly a dozen states that either have linked the amount of taxpayer money colleges receive to student success and the number of degrees awarded, or are considering such a move. A state committee signed off Wednesday on a plan that would make colleges earn or lose money depending on how well they help students get a degree.
Current formula: Funding for colleges in the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia is determined mainly by how many students are enrolled and how many credits they take. Their success in college — as measured by how well they progress through school or whether they graduate — is not a factor.
New formula: Funding is driven by student success, as measured by retention, progression and graduation from college. Colleges would earn money based on how many students accumulate 30, 60 and 90 credit hours, as well as those who successfully transfer to another college. The bulk of the formula emphasizes completion by counting the number of students who earn degrees or certificates.
The formula encourages colleges to focus on students who struggle the most by promising extra money if they succeed with low-income students, as measured by those who receive the federal Pell Grant, and adult learners, students 25 or older.
Colleges are not expected to earn or lose money under this formula until the 2016 fiscal year.
What doesn’t change: The state allocates a lump sum of money to the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. The boards and senior leaders over each system decide how much money each college will receive.