I have to admit as many plans as I’ve done and college tuition costs I’ve estimated college expenses scare me, so in my mind I’ve already set some boundaries for Gabby when she starts college, but am I being fair? My boundaries are:
- No out-of-state college unless there’s a substantial scholarship being offered
- I’m not paying for college tuition unless she majors in something that will give her a skill to make money once she graduates.
- I will only be paying for tuition, books & school supplies – living expenses will be on her own. She can get a job or two or three as I did in college.
I’m pretty firm on #2 & #3, but with #1 I ask myself “am I limiting my daughter if I only pay for in-state tuition?” So, I did two pieces of research: What colleges are in the state of Georgia and how do they compare and what are the costs based on public in-state versus public out-of-state and private?
There are 28 public colleges, 22 technical colleges and 49 private/independent colleges in the state of Georgia. So, a total of 99 higher education schools in the state of Georgia, what a huge selection!
So, how do they compare to each other and with other states around the country? The first comparison I found was average SAT scores of entering freshman. The University System of Georgia (which is all George Public Schools) has average SAT scores of freshman of 1110. The national average is 1010 so that already puts Georgia Public colleges ahead of the national average. The ten schools in Georgia that have an average of SAT scores above the Georgia average is (in order):
- Georgia Tech
- Emory University
- University of Georgia
- Georgia College & State University
- Mercer University
- Berry College
- Agnes Scott College
- University of North Georgia
- Georgia Southern University
- Oglethorpe University
Two of the above universities are ranked in the top 25 research universities in the nation: Georgia Tech and University of Georgia.
U.S. News has a National Universities category ranking based on a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral programs plus these colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research. The first Georgia school to show up is Emory as #20 out of 310 total schools in the ranking which makes Emory in the top 10% of the National Universities category; the second school is Georgia Tech as #34 which is in the top 15% percentile and the third is University of Georgia ranking #56 in the top 20% percentile.
Let’s do a cost comparison now; I’m going to compare, Emory, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, University of North Georgia and Brenau. I’m going to also going to do a comparison using the average public out-of-state costs and average cost of private colleges in the nation.
|University of Georgia||$11,634||$9,616||$4,958||$26,208|
|University of North Georgia||$6,157.60**||$7,916||(included in Tuition)||$14,073|
|Brenau||$26,752***||$12,818||(included in Housing/Food||$39,570|
|Out-of-state average public||$24,930||$10,440 (only housing)||$35,370|
|Out-of-state average private||$33,480||$11,890 (only housing)||$45,370|
*For public schools I used the in-state tuition costs
**North Georgia’s tuition is based on semesters and credit hours so I used 12 credit hours per semester and included the cost of two semesters per school year.
***Brenau has a slightly higher tuition for Health Science and Nursing/Occupational Therapy majors – I quoted the tuition for the other majors.
As if some of these colleges aren’t expensive enough; the average rate of tuition increase for colleges is in the 6% range. Plus, the expenses above don’t cover additional living expenses that college students would need such as groceries, travel expenses etc.
My conclusion based on rankings and costs is that I think Georgia has some great schools available for a great cost. If someone is going to go to a private school in Georgia it looks like it’s comparable to out-of-state public colleges. The only real savings looks to be in-state public. Based on the cost research I may waiver on my #1, but only time will tell where Gabby will be that far down the road.
If you have any questions or comments please let me know. If you are interested in getting started on a savings plan for your future college expenses please give me a call and we can review savings options that will fit your situation.
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