Viewpoint: 4-year degrees, college costs

Some of South Georgia's two-year colleges have recently announced new programs that will allow students to earn four-year degrees at their schools.

Darton College will offer a four-year degree in nursing. Nursing students, who previously had to look elsewhere to finish their degrees, now have the advantage of staying here.

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College recently rolled out a new four-year degree in Biology, their first bachelor's degree in the college of Math and Sciences.

The Board of Regents also approved a four-year nursing program for South Georgia College in Douglas.

We think this trend is a step in the right direction for Georgia's colleges, and will be a big help to students who are trying to achieve a four-year degree-- without breaking the bank.

It is well known that the cost of higher education continues to rise, and at a pace that far out-paces inflation. This is happening at a time when the restrictions for the HOPE grant are becoming tighter than ever before.

Even with grants and educational loans, the cost of high education may soon be beyond the average student, many of who come out of school into a very tight job market, with many thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

We say that anything the Board of Regents can do to help these students minimize their school costs; including being able to remain close to home to earn a bachelor's degree, is the right thing to do.

We also call on the Regents to take a close look at the sky-rocketing cost of college, and take action to reign it in…