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USG launches website to help students make financial decisions

The new Georgia Degrees Pay website provides an array of public data on Georgia’s 26 public colleges and universities.
USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue, former Georgia Governor and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Credit: USG

The University System of Georgia (USG) is launching a powerful new website to help students and families work through critical decisions about college affordability and value.

The new website Georgia Degrees Pay provides an array of public data on Georgia’s 26 public colleges and universities.

The website allows comparisons about the overall cost to attend college, majors and fields of study, average student borrowing, and average career earnings.

“As one of the best public university systems in the nation, the University System of Georgia is leading the nation in giving students, families and stakeholders in-depth access to data in a centralized, easy to use and transparent fashion,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said.

Perdue announced the website’s creation at the August Board of Regents meeting.

“Georgia Degrees Pay puts helpful data about degree attainment, student success, costs and affordability at their fingertips, making it easier for them to decide how college can help them obtain greater prosperity and career growth,” Perdue said.

Regents received a live demonstration of the site’s key features, which included tools to compare cost of attendance, future earnings and student success.

The tools were developed by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia in collaboration with members of the USG Research and Policy Analysis and Communications teams.

Each tool allows users to compare colleges and universities on an array of statistics.

For example, in the cost of attendance tool, users can compare tuition and mandatory fees, total cost of attendance, average scholarships and grants, and net price.

They can also find student loan outcomes such as:

  • the percentage of students who borrow each year
  • the average amount borrowed each year
  • the percentage of graduates who have any debt from pursuing their bachelor’s degree
  • the average amount borrowed among bachelor’s degree graduates
  • the percentage of graduates who have any debt from pursuing their associate degree
  • average amount borrowed among associate degree graduates
  • the loan default rate for graduates

The website’s new future earnings tool allows users to see the average earnings of USG graduates in Georgia after they receive their degree, as well as earnings for different majors, earnings by alumni from different institutions, and a range of earnings by academic area for one, five, and 10 years after graduation.

The website gives users the ability to compare:

  • the makeup of the student body at two institutions
  • the percentage of students who continue into their second year
  • the percentage who graduate
  • how long on average it takes them to finish their degree

The tool also compares the percentage of Georgia students who earn and retain Georgia’s renowned HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships.

For the best results with the comparative tools, users are encouraged to compare institutions from the same sector.

USG’s 26 institutions fall into four general sectors – research universities, comprehensive universities, state universities and state colleges.

Each sector has unique missions, requirements and academic programs to meet a range of student needs across the state.

The comprehensive website features a link to USG’s “Find Your School” web page, where potential students can enter information about themselves and a list of USG institutions that meet their criteria will be generated for them with links to admission websites.

Georgia Degrees Pay also includes links to information about scholarships, online degrees, online courses, and student support efforts such as Complete College Georgia, Affordable Learning Georgia and eCampus, among others.

“The ‘Georgia Degrees Pay’ resource will further that access and affordability, strengthening our position as the best place to live, work, learn, and raise a family. I commend the Board of Regents, Chancellor Perdue, and his staff for standing this new asset up, and I look forward to the benefits it will bring to learners across the state who will soon enter our robust workforce,” said Governor Brian Kemp.