Students feel the pressure of college expenses - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students feel the pressure of college expenses

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The HOPE scholarship is becoming more difficult to earn and paying less. Tuition is rising, and many colleges are also increasing student fees.

Fees are increasing faster than tuition at Georgia colleges. The University of Georgia increased their In-state tuition by 62% from fall 2007 to this coming fall, while UGA's mandatory fees increased by 94%, leaving some students right here in Albany with a cloud of uncertainty for their future.

Billy Hopkins is a student at Darton College. After leaving school to take care of his ailing grandmother in Florida, he lost his In-state status. That means he'll pay more for tuition, not to mention increasing fees.

"I don't see if how somebody can't get a loan, like I might not be able to get a loan next term, but if somebody can't get a loan and they can't get a Pell grant then they're going bankrupt trying to pay for this and it's not even guaranteed they'll pass the class because they're hard," Hopkins said.

Colleges have long charged fees, but it's only in the past 20 years that they have become a standard expense to earn a degree in Georgia.

These fees may be labeled as a technology fee or an institution fee.

Colleges typically use fee revenue to pay for things students demand beyond academics, such as buses, parking decks and recreational centers.

Some students, like Chelsie Battle, feel these fees aren't needed. "When we're doing everything just to come to school, and luckily I have a scholarship, but some are not. These increases in activity fees are ridiculous and unnecessary."

Some students are paying fees for things they don't even use. We talked to one student who says she's paying an online fee and she hasn't even taken a course on the web.

Hopkins thinks it's absurd that fees may be the one thing that is holding someone back from obtaining a college education.

"That's ridiculous. If someone has to pay to get on a computer, but they can't go to school because of something that simple, like if that little bit made the difference and they can't come here, then that's stupid. They need to drop it. If they can't support their own funding for the students then they shouldn't have it."

Hopkins and Battle would both like a better explanation from the college as to what the fees pay for and why they're necessary. They hope those fees will decrease soon. 

Financial officials at Darton College were not available to talk to us today.  Increased fees are being reported at most colleges and universities, not just Darton.  

 

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