University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley announced last month a group will look at how much students are paying in various fees and consider some changes. Kennesaw State University President Pamela Whitten is leading the group. The fees at some institutions are more than $1,000 a semester. The state's Board of Regents earlier this year approved fee increases from $4 to $50 per semester for students at 11 schools.
A University System of Georgia committee is working on some changes to what courses students must take and improvements to what students learn in these courses. The Georgia system hasn’t updated its core curriculum in 20 years. Students are currently required to take 14 core courses, or 42 credit hours. Students must take various courses in math, science, technology and the humanities. The system hopes to have recommendations ready early next year for the Regents’ review and approval.
Income Sharing Agreements
Brenau University in August announced plans to offer "Income Sharing Agreements," in which students commit a percentage of their future career earnings over a period of time to repay some of their tuition without interest. Brenau, a private university, has four Georgia campuses and about 3,800 students. A state senator from Gwinnett County proposed a bill this year to introduce such a program for public colleges but lawmakers had many questions, and the legislation was held. The Trump administration has expressed interest in creating such a program.
Federal education officials in September set a three-year eligibility period for students seeking to have student loan repayments forgiven when a school abruptly closes, such as when for-profit Argosy University shut down earlier this year. Experts predict some changes to borrower-defense regulations. U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., co-sponsored a bill that would make the borrower-defense rule permanent and allow for student loan relief in cases of misconduct by institutions.
College presidential tenures are becoming shorter — less than 7 years, on average — due to the 24/7 job demands, friction with trustees and other factors. Some Atlanta-area universities will be looking for new presidents in 2020. Emory University President Claire Sterk plans to leave her post in August after taking the job in 2016. Oglethorpe University President Lawrence Schall is leaving in June after 15 years on the job.