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Bureau Chief

ATLANTA — University System of Georgia students being forced to take classes online this semester because of the coronavirus pandemic got some welcome news Thursday.

The system’s Board of Regents is expected to vote next week to hold the line on tuition during the coming school year, based on the recommendation of Chancellor Steve Wrigley.

“One of the University System of Georgia’s top priorities is affordability, and that has never been more important than now for our students and their families,” Wrigley said Thursday. “It is more critical than ever for our institutions to provide a quality education while maintaining the affordability and accessibility that helps more Georgians attain a college degree and find success in the workforce.”

Tuition at the system’s 26 colleges and universities went up 2.5% last August for the current school year. But if the regents approve Wrigley’s recommendation next week, it will mark the third time in the last five years there has been no tuition increase.

Overall, tuition during the last five years would have risen just 0.9%.

University system officials frequently tout Georgia’s public colleges and universities as one of the best financial deals in the South. Among the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board, Georgia charges the fourth lowest in-state tuition and fees for undergraduates at four-year institutions.

“USG continues to do all we can to ensure the cost of our colleges and universities remains among the lowest of our peers,” said Regent Sachin Shailendra, the board’s chairman. “I support the recommendation of Chancellor Wrigley and know that the board will support and approve it at our meeting on Tuesday.”

Wrigley is proposing a small number of fee increases for the coming school year. Those will be limited to debt payments or contractual obligations, according to a news release.

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