Every year, Georgia’s public colleges purge between 20,000 and 30,000 students from their rolls for not paying tuition bills, according to new data from the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. The sums of money causing students to be dropped are small, often less than $1,000.
The state is trying to figure out how to get help for these students, many times upperclassmen, so they can finish their degrees. Leaving school with a degree benefits more than individual students; the state needs to add 250,000 degree-holders by 2025 to meet job growth.
In the AJC Get Schooled blog, Hala Moddelmog, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Alicia Philipp, president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, contend the state must develop a needs-based aid program.
“For those who are forced to leave behind their studies because of unmet financial need, small sums of money could make all the difference. A number of initiatives within the state are already working to break down barriers facing low-income degree-seekers, and in the process, they are displaying how need-based awards can enhance both opportunities and outcomes,” they write. “Nationally, Georgia is one of just two states that offers no need-based aid. A small amount could go a long way for hardworking students—and for our collective economic future.”
To read more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.
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