ATLANTA, GEORGIA – The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) is pleased to announce the release of its comprehensive overview of the proposed 2025 Fiscal Year Budget for Higher Education, authored by GBPI’s Education Analyst, Ashley Young. The report provides a detailed analysis of Governor Brian Kemp’s proposed budget allocations for the Board of Regents and the Technical College System of Georgia, highlighting significant changes and implications for higher education in the state.
Governor Kemp’s Proposed Budget Highlights:
University System of Georgia (USG):
- A proposed allocation of $3.4 billion for the Board of Regents.
- $195 million for the teaching portion of the university system’s operating budget, featuring noteworthy increases for cost-of-living adjustments, funding formula restoration, health benefits, and contributions to the Teachers Retirement System.
- Additional funds for specific programs under the Board of Regents, including the Agricultural Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension Service, and Public Libraries.
Technical College System of Georgia:
- A proposed budget of $486 million, reflecting a $13 million decrease from fiscal year 2024.
- Detailed changes include increases for cost-of-living adjustments, enrollment, and square footage in technical education, adult education, and workforce development.
- A total of $1.49 billion allocated for Georgia’s lottery-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K), HOPE, and other financial aid programs.
- Breakdown of changes in funds for HOPE programs across various sectors, including the University System of Georgia, Technical College System of Georgia, and Private Colleges in Georgia.
- No changes in funds for College Completion Grants and Tuition Equalization Grants (TEGs), while a decrease is noted for the HOPE high school equivalency exam.
Lottery Reserves and Utilization:
- A comprehensive overview of the fiscal year 2023 lottery reserves and utilization, emphasizing the need for strategic allocation to address student loan debt and access barriers.
- Examination of Georgia’s standing in national student loan debt rankings and the potential impact of utilizing lottery reserves for need-based grant programs.
Budget Equity in Public Higher Education:
- A call for comprehensive need-based financial aid to address the absence of need-based aid in Georgia and the state’s unique emphasis on merit-based scholarships.
- Recognition of the underfunded public college system, racial disparities in scholarship awards, and the need for equitable policies to improve college accessibility.
Ashley Young, Education Analyst at GBPI, emphasized the significance of the report, stating:
“This budget analysis sheds light on the opportunities and challenges in shaping the future of higher education in Georgia. It is crucial that we address the barriers students face and work towards a more equitable and accessible educational landscape for all.”
GBPI’s report concludes with a compelling argument for investing in equitable financial aid and fair funding for public higher education to create a more affordable pathway for all students.
For more information or to access the full report, please visit GBPI’s official website.