Dalton State Among Least Expensive Four-Year Colleges in the Nation
Dalton State College is named on a new Department of Education “College Affordability and Transparency List” as being among the nation’s most affordable four-year public colleges.
The list is based upon data collected during the 2009-10 Integrated Postsecondary Education System data collection cycle, the most recent data that have undergone the full National Center for Education Statistics data review process. The College Affordability and Transparency List was unveiled by the Department of Education on June 30 and can be accessed at http://collegecost.ed.gov/catc/Default.aspx#
Dalton State appears on the DOE list for public four-year schools with lowest tuition and required fees ($2,400 for the 2009/2010 academic year; average tuition for public four-year colleges was $6,397) and also on a list for public four-year colleges with the lowest net prices, which is, according to the DOE, the average price of attendance that is paid by full-time students after grants and scholarships are taken into account.
The DOE released the information –which includes lists for highest and lowest tuition and fees, highest and lowest net prices, as well as information on schools with the fastest growing tuition, fees, and net prices– “to help students to make informed decisions about their choice for higher education.”
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reported that “These lists are a helpful tool for students and families as they determine what college or university is the best fit for them. We hope this information will encourage schools to continue their efforts to make the costs of college more transparent so students make informed decisions and aren’t saddled with unmanageable debt.”
“This information confirms what we have long said: that a Dalton State education is a remarkable value,” said President Dr. John O. Schwenn. “When you couple our low tuition and fees with the quality of the educational experience our students receive, we think we’re hard to beat – anywhere in the country.
“Consider the fact that our class size is small (23:1 for the time covered in the report), that all our classes are taught by faculty and not graduate students or teaching assistants, that 62 percent of our faculty hold the doctorate degree, and that our professional Schools are accredited by prestigious organizations such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (School of Business), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (School of Education), and the Council of Social Work Accreditation (School of Social Work).
Dalton State appears on another of the DOE’s list, “highest percentage increase in average net price,” which Dr. Jodi Johnson, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services, believes is the result of a reporting error.
“In reporting this data, which indicates a 53% increase in net price from the 2006-2007 academic year to the 2008-2009 year, they’ve essentially made an apples to oranges comparison,” Johnson says. “Prior to 2008, we charged one rate for two-year programs and another rate for four-year programs. In 2008, we converted to a single, four-year rate for all academic programs.
“It appears the DOE compared our two-year rate from 2006 to our four year-rate in 2008 and came up with a 53% differential,” she explained. “When you compare our four-year rate from 2006 to our four-year rate in 2008, the difference is a modest three percent.”“We know that our affordability is a key reason students choose Dalton State,” said Dr. Schwenn. “Low tuition and fees make college education accessible to more Georgians. We work hard to keep a Dalton State education within the economic grasp of most families.”