University System of Georgia officials questioned the accuracy of some data in the report.
System officials are engaged in an ongoing effort to better assist students at the start of their academic careers. The system did not raise tuition this academic year, recognizing costs have increased in recent years. They also said they’ve saved $19 million a year in textbooks by using free, online resources as part of the Affordable Learning Georgia initiative.
“Georgia is seen as a national leader on college completion and has made significant progress in recent years,” a statement from the University System said. “We were among the first to implement initiatives such as remediation reform, 15-to-finish and guided pathways. In addition to our work with the Gates Foundation, we are one of four systems in the country who have received a Strong Start to Finish grant to take our proven student success initiatives to scale. The number of USG graduates has increased 21 percent since 2011, far outpacing our 2 percent increase in enrollment.”
The report said Georgia must do more to help low-income students, echoing additional research that indicates the state's poorest students are paying more for college than in recent years.
There were some bright spots in the report, such as the number of students transferring from associate to bachelor degree programs is the third-highest in the nation; and three institutions, Emory University, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, are ranked among the nation’s best research colleges and universities.