The Union Recorder

Top Stories

April 21, 2014

Georgia online tuition dropping for first year

ATLANTA — Jenni Small has good reason for avoiding 8 a.m. world literature classes at Dalton State College in northern Georgia. The 23-year-old works night shifts as an operator for carpet manufacturer Shaw while finishing her bachelor's degree in mathematics.

Instead of heading straight to class from work, she uses eCore — an online system that focuses on "core" classes that every Georgia state college or university student must take — for 1 or 2 courses each semester.

Cost was the only thing that kept her from taking even more classes online, Small said. On-campus credit hour charges at Dalton State this year are $97.27, compared to $189 for eCore.

"Having to pay out of pocket, at least at first, for school was a factor," she said.

System officials are hoping to address that in the fall, when the cost of eCore classes will drop $20 per credit hour. It's the first time the system's Board of Regents has lowered tuition for the online program since its 1999 launch, and a stark contrast to the tuition increases also approved this week at all 31 brick-and-mortar state campuses.

Traditional students like Small could benefit from the tuition cut, but the change is primarily aimed at adults who never earned a college degree. Georgia is in the midst of an effort to boost the number of residents with degrees. Less than 30 percent of Georgians had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher, according to 2010 Census results.

As that push began, eCore staff worried that classes were too expensive for those non-traditional students, said Mike Rogers, assistant vice chancellor of faculty development. Online faculty members also are being encouraged to consider free resources, or at least more affordable textbooks.

"I have students in my class who say if it's a choice between spending $100 on a textbook and groceries, they're going to choose groceries," said Rogers, who teaches a communications course through eCore.

Karen Duke started taking eCore classes just before her 50th birthday, encouraged to get a college degree by her kids and grandkids. About three years later, Duke is halfway to a business management degree and working full time as an office manager for the nursing school at the University of West Georgia.

As a system employee, she gets a break on tuition but hopes that lower costs will encourage other non-traditional students to use online classes.

"It was something on my bucket list, but you start wondering how much it will cost me to check it off," Duke, 52, said.

 

1
Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season