Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 24, 2012

State studies plan to tie college funds to success

Georgia attempts to increase college graduation rates

ATLANTA — Georgia is making plans that would change the way it funds public colleges in the state, tying the money to performance measures such as graduation rates.

The plan, if given final approval, would mark a drastic change in the way Georgia funds its college system, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

A group appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday signed off on a draft framework, though many details remain have yet to be finalized. The amount of money colleges receive would be determined mainly by how well students progress through college and the number of degrees awarded.

The work by the Higher Education Funding Commission represents a dramatic shift from the current formula, which is driven by enrollment and how many credits students take.

By adopting such a plan, Georgia would join a growing number of states that connect funding to learning outcomes such as student progression, retention and graduation. Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee are doing this to varying degrees.

The state is emphasizing graduation rates because projections show about 60 percent of all jobs by 2020 will require education after high school. Only 42 percent of Georgia's adults currently possess a college degree or certificate.

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