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Other state systems with ever-rising costs or enrollment declines could learn from Georgia’s example.“Better understanding the sources of productivity gains is critical as other governing boards consider whether consolidations could be similarly successful in their public college systems,” Russell wrote. It moved quickly, ensured consolidation committees had members from both institutions that were merging, and hired outside consultants to figure out how to best use existing space.
The University System of Georgia, it should be remembered, is the fifth-largest state university system by enrollment.The reduction in dropout rates in the Georgia system, for example, could just keep students in school another year before they drop out.And it’s not yet clear that graduation rates overall, rather than on-time graduation, will improve after consolidation.Low-performing students, Russell’s research found, didn’t seem harmed or helped by Georgia’s changes.How, exactly, a university system consolidates matters.
Tuition and fees didn’t increase, nor did grant aid provided by the colleges fall.