Gov. Nathan Deal today released the report of recommendations from the Higher Education Funding Commission, a part of his Complete College Georgia initiative. Deal charged the commission in December 2011 to make recommendations to his office on ways to change the higher education funding formulas to incentivize degree completion.
"The current higher education funding formulas emphasize enrollment with little to no focus on ensuring that students are successful after they get there," said Deal. "The recommendations of the Higher Education Funding Commission are a good starting point toward emphasizing outcomes and are a strong addition to our state's work on increasing college access, retention and completion."
A study done last year by Georgetown University found that, to meet projected workforce needs, Georgia must increase the percentage of its population that holds a post-secondary credential from 42 percent to 60 percent over the next eight years. Complete College Georgia is Deal's initiative to produce the additional 250,000 credentials the state will need to meet this demand.
"I appreciate and support the work of the Governor's Formula Revision Study Commission," University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby said. "The Commission has produced an excellent framework to guide implementation details to be crafted with the Technical College System of Georgia, the Office of Planning and Budget and the Governor's Office. I am confident that the new formula will serve both Georgia higher education systems extremely well in the years ahead."
"Governor Deal makes it clear that Georgia taxpayers expect results from their higher education investments: more student success, more college graduates, and a better prepared workforce to attract high-paying jobs," said Stan Jones, president of Complete College America. "The commission's approach is well designed and will serve as a national model for other states to follow."
The commission's recommendations include rewarding student progression across critical hours-earned benchmarks, degree and credential completion, and sector-performance in strategic initiatives, which could include such indicators as job placement, award of research dollars, or decreasing the time to degree. The commission recommended that the formula also include an incentive for students who are over 25 years of age or who receive the Pell Grant. The Governor's Office will review the recommendations with key decision-makers to determine the appropriate next steps toward implementation.