Reduced costs for online courses at local college

Guest post by Sheron Smith

Beginning in the fall 2018, Middle Georgia State University (MGA) is lowering tuition for online courses by about 11 percent. For a single 3-credit-hour course, the decrease translates into nearly $60 in savings for students.

For a number of years, most institutions of the University System of Georgia, including MGA, charged higher tuition for courses offered online than for “regular” classes. That’s because the costs of creating online courses, including the hardware and software needed, tools for test proctoring, etc., are higher than those of traditional classes professors teach on campus.

In late 2017, USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley directed institutions to phase out the online course tuition differential.

“Online education is still a priority of the USG,” he said at the time. However, the University System needs to ensure “that education is affordable for all citizens of Georgia regardless of the mode of delivery. Distance learning, which provides greater convenience and flexibility to students, is a critical pathway for student success.”

Dr. Christopher Blake, MGA’s president, strongly supports the chancellor’s directive for institutions to eventually charge the same tuition for online and traditional classes.

“One of our core values at Middle Georgia State is stewardship,” he said. “As stewards of the public trust, MGA is dedicated to providing our students with the best education at the lowest possible cost – ensuring that both students and the taxpayers of Georgia are getting a good return on their investment.”

At MGA, students taking online courses this fall will be charged $150 per credit hour, down from $169. The majority of courses are each worth three credit hours, so one typical online course will cost $450 instead of $507 as of fall 2018.

The current plan is for the online tuition rate to continue to drop over two more years. Unless the plan changes, the per-credit-hour tuition charge for an online course will be the same as that for a traditional course by fall 2020.

MGA students may take a combination of on-campus, partially online, or fully online courses. A student is considered a fully online student if all of her or his classes are completely online. The tuition decrease applies to online classes offered by Middle Georgia State, not to eCore and eMajor courses offered through the University System of Georgia.

Information about MGA’s tuition and fee rates, which are subject to change at the end of any academic term, is at www.mga.edu/bursar/tuition-fees/. For information about how to apply for admission call 877.238.8664 or email admissions@mga.edu.

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