State colleges will have to earn funding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State colleges will have to earn funding

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The pressure is on for Georgia's public colleges. Their funding will now be based on graduation rates.

Last week, a commission appointed by the governor approved a new funding formula that links the money they get from Georgia taxpayers to student success rather than enrollment.

Georgia's public colleges and universities will soon have to earn the money they get from taxpayers by helping more students get degrees.

"In today's economy, we understand that college graduates do better, they earn more money," says Dr. Anthony Parker, Darton College President.

The change is part of a new funding formula approved by a commission appointed by Governor Nathan Deal.

"This proposal will help all the colleges in Georgia make sure that student success is paramount, at Darton College we have always been committed to student success from enrollment to graduation," says Tracy Goode, Institutional Advancement Dean.

The new formula links the state funding colleges receive to their improving student success and the number of degrees or certificated awarded.

"It make a lot of sense, certainly that is the direction that we have been going for quite some time, and accountability is very important in governance now and people want to know how their tax dollars are being invested," says Parker.

It is a drastic shift from the current system that hands out money based on enrollment and how many credits students take, with little attention paid to whether they ever graduate.

"Only about 42% of Georgia's young workforce has a college degree certificate, associates or bachelors degree, studies show that by 2020, 60% of the Georgia jobs will require some sort of college, so this initiative is to help make a better workforce for the state of Georgia," says Goode.

And a better workforce means a growing economy. The changes won't go into effect for a couple of years.

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