A press release from Chattahoochee Technical College stated, “TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson told the board members that the system has done all that it can to hold down enrollment costs but that operational expenses, including those for cutting-edge technology programs, keep rising.”
“Georgia’s technical colleges still offer great value for the students that we serve, and our programs result in high job placement rates for our graduates. TCSG tuition, even with the increase, remains relatively low compared to other states. Still, we understand the concerns of that our students and their families may have regarding any additional cost. Our college presidents and their staff are committed to continuing to help their students obtain the financial help that they deserve, including some valuable new assistance from the state,” Jackson said.
More than half of the TCSG’s 151,000 students received tuition assistance from Georgia’s HOPE programs, namely the HOPE Grant. Currently, the requirements for receiving the HOPE Grant are the student maintains at least a 2.0 grade point average, is enrolled in a certificate or diploma program, meets residency standards and has not reached the maximum number of hours allowed under the HOPE program.
Rebecca Long, a representative at CTC, said in written statement, “Starting in the fall, the new Zell Miller HOPE Grant will pay 100 percent of tuition for students who enroll in certificate and diploma programs and maintain a 3.5 grade point average or better. It is estimated that the Zell Miller Grant will benefit at least 16,000 TCSG students.”
“In addition, the state’s fiscal year 2015 budget will fund the expansion of Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant (SIWDG), meaning that TCSG students who enroll in any one of seven high-demand program areas — practical nursing, early childhood care and education, commercial truck driving, welding, healthcare technologies, diesel mechanic and information technology — can use the SIWDG as a supplement to their HOPE Grant. Combined, the two grants will cover all of the cost of their tuition as well as some of their books and fees. Over the next year, an estimated 12,000 TCSG students are expected to make good use of the SIWDG,” according to the press release.
“Also new this year, TCSG students who need additional financial assistance will be eligible to apply for a one percent loan through the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Students who graduate with a 3.5 GPA or better will have their loan forgiven,” Long said.