Students walk across the Georgia Southern University campus in Savannah on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The Georgia Board of Regents held the first of a two-day meeting there to vote on tuition and fees for Georgia Southern and the 25 other schools in the University System of Georgia. ERIC STIRGUS / ESTIRGUS@AJC.COM.

On Campus: Tuition to rise, Morehouse’s policy, new college info tool

There was plenty of news on the money front this week from the state’s University System. It will cost many public college students a little more to go to school next fall. This week’s AJC On Campus leads off with those changes and some of the other news that took place on various campuses in recent days.

Tuition increases

The state’s Board of Regents voted Tuesday to increase tuition by 2.5% at all 26 schools in the University System of Georgia and some fees at 11 schools. Housing costs will also rise at some dorms. There was some good news for students. Online tuition will drop by 33%. Here’s more about the changes

New tool to find out about Georgia’s public colleges

Do want to know what percentage of Georgia State University students stay in school after their first year? How about the cost for Georgia residents to attend Kennesaw State University? Maybe, you’re curious about the average amount of money students borrow to attend Clayton State University? The University System of Georgia has a weblink for that. The system recently created a link on its website called “student outcomes” which has data for each of its 26 colleges and universities, such as average high school grade-point averages, graduation rates, the average length of time it takes a student to complete a degree and cumulative debt. The page is part of the system’s efforts to share more information with prospective students about their choices and college costs.

Medical marijuana on campus

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill legalizing cultivation and sales of medical marijuana oil. Kemp was surrounded by several state legislators as he signed House Bill 324 at the state Capitol on Wednesday, April 17. From left: State Reps. Micah Gravley, David Ralston, Mark Newton and Calvin Smyre. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday signed into law a bill to grow and sell medical marijuana in Georgia. So what does this have to do with colleges? The bill calls for the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University to seek licenses to produce and manufacture the oil. A seven-member board will be responsible for overseeing the program. To learn more about how this will work and how these universities will work with the state, click here.

Morehouse’s transgender enrollment policy

Morehouse College, the nation’s lone school created to educate African American men, approved a policy Saturday that allows transgender students to enroll at the Atlanta school, starting in Fall 2020. Here’s more about the policy and reaction from some transgender organizations.

Morehouse gets big gift for scholarships

Eugene McGowan Jr. graduated from Morehouse College in 1937 and had strong feelings for the school. The Atlanta college announced last week that the late McGowan, a psychologist and former Atlanta Public Schools teacher, left Morehouse $4.6 million in his estate. It’s the largest gift of the year for the college. Morehouse will use the money for student scholarships.

Mystery lingers around HBCU bill

Several community leaders, alumni and lawmakers are still scratching their heads about a last-minute piece of legislation that would have combined Georgia’s three public black colleges - Albany State, Fort Valley State and Savannah State universities - into a new “Georgia A&M University System.” The legislation, Senate Bill 273, was introduced near the end of the recent legislative session and quickly withdrawn. However, some folks still want answers about how this came about. A town hall meeting on the topic was scheduled Thursday evening in Albany, the Albany Herald reported. We’re trying to track down the bill’s sponsor, Lester Jackson of Savannah, to get his rationale for the legislation.

Welcome Mr. President

Georgia Southern University’s new president, Kyle Marrero, is off to an interesting start. He co-hosted this week’s Board of Regents meeting in Savannah and was thanked by the board for his hospitality. However, there’s questions about some operations there. Nearly 100 faculty members have signed an online petition against what they say are improper demands on their workload, such as tenure-track professors “asked to teach another class each semester with no additional compensation.” The United Campus Workers of Georgia posted fliers on some parts of the Savannah campus bemoaning complaints that adjunct faculty and graduate employees aren’t being properly compensated while being asked to take on additional classes.

Ladies first

Some Georgia students recently won two big competitions.

Georgia State University students Dia Davis, left, and Chanté Knox, right, won a national entrepreneurship competition for the company they created for women’s hygiene needs.

We learned Thursday that two Georgia State University students won the top prize and $75,000 at the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge last weekend in Minneapolis. The students, Chanté Knox and Dia Davis, founded DelivHer, a proprietary absorbent product and monthly subscription service for women’s hygiene needs. The team competed against 24 finalist teams from a field of more than 100 from across the nation in a “shark tank” like competition.

Meanwhile, Spelman College, the women’s college near downtown Atlanta, won the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, a 48-team round robin quiz bowl competition geared toward historically black colleges. It is Spelman’s first national title in the 30-year history of the event. Here’s an article about Spelman’s victory.

Helping students with disabilities

Alex Goodman and Faith Roman (right) pose for a selfie with Kurt Vogel in the background as they try on their caps and gowns ahead of their graduation from the EXCEL program for students with intellectual disabilities at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Tech has an interesting program that helps students with intellectual disabilities “mainstream” instead of segregating, isolating or giving up on them. More colleges and universities are experimenting with similar programs. AJC reporter Helena Oliviero spent a lot of time with some of those students and told their story in a front-page article in Sunday’s paper. Read about it here.

Remembering Donald Stewart

Donald Stewart, who led Spelman College from 1976 to 1986 and was its last male president, died of natural causes earlier this month. A funeral is scheduled Saturday in his native Chicago.

Eight is not enough

Atlanta Public Schools reporter Vanessa McCray recently explored the challenges a school district faces when one board member resigns and leaves them with 8 members, which can be trouble if there’s a tie vote. Here’s her story.

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