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Decrease in state funding is linked to the decrease in average credit hours, decrease in enrollment and changes in state revenue.

USG students experience decrease in state funding

“I didn’t know,” Jabarri Bradley, a junior majoring in mass media, said. “It upsets me because they don’t understand that they are setting us up for failure. Putting us more in debt will not help anything.”

Since 1987, the state support of VSU has decreased by 22.9%, inconveniencing VSU students by raising the tuition.

The state support as a percentage of overall revenues went from 60.6% to 37.6% at VSU from 1987 to 2012. Along with the 22.9% decrease of support, VSU went from being the 10th on the list (out of 11 institutions for Georgia Master’s colleges and universities) to the second in receiving the highest amount of state support, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

So, why did VSU go from the bottom of the state support list to the top?

It is not because of enrollment. In Fall 1987, there were 7,056 students enrolled at VSU but only 6,396 students enrolled at the University of West Georgia. UWG received 6.6% more in state support. 

The revenue from state support for VSU was $15.8 million while students only paid $7.3 million. The ratio flipped in 2012 when state support for VSU was $44.1 million, while students paid $13.4 million more in tuition resulting in $57.5 million total.

However, Vice President for Finance and Administration Traycee Martin denies the claims of decreased support.

“It increased,” she said. “It has to do with a lot of things. It has to do with the number of students, the credit hours those students take, the number of employees, the rise in healthcare, retirement.”

The decrease in state funding at the Budget Advisory Council meeting was caused by the decrease in average credit hours, decrease in enrollment and changes in state revenue.

“That’s why I came and presented,” Martin said. “I’ve got an $800,000 cut to my state funding this year because we had students taking less credit hours. That equates to x dollars.”

Annually, the USG office makes an overall budget request. The Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget request is $2.6 billion. The request is made and then applied to schools based on their credit hour production from the previous two years.

This is part of the formula that decides the reduction in state support. The state allocates funds to the University System of Georgia based on this enrollment formula.

“Yes, as a percentage of overall revenues, it appears that state support has waned, but actually it equates into more dollars,” Martin said. “So, that reflects a shift in public policy that the state is paying less.”

Another VSU student expressed a resigned, defeated attitude to the entire issue.

“I’m not surprised,” Jasmin Korbieh, a sophomore healthcare administration major, said. “I just feel like all these schools want is our money.”

Written by Kayla Pool, Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of The Spectator.

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