Campuses around Georgia closed and students returned home to finish their classes online to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in recent weeks. The University System of Georgia announced on March 19 that the 330,000 students within their network of 26 schools would be receiving partial refunds for room and board.
This means ten of the largest schools in Georgia will lose more than $180 million in revenue, according to Atlanta Business Chronicle research.
A Chronicle analysis of about 800 U.S. colleges and universities nationwide found that roughly a quarter of student-related revenue, about $44 billion in payments during the 2018 fiscal year, came from “auxiliary enterprises,” meaning goods and services sold to students and faculty. The majority of that revenue came from housing and food services for on-campus residents, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Education. (This research did not include Kennesaw State University nor the University of North Georgia.)
The University of Georgia in Athens, the state’s largest higher education institution, will pay back nearly $50 million in estimated refunds, which it began issuing this week. The school receives the most income in the state from these “auxiliary enterprises,” which total nearly $200 million.
Georgia Tech will issue the second-largest refund in the state with nearly $30 million returning to students. GSU and Emory will both lose about $16.5 million in estimated refunds.
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro will have the third-largest loss in the state, refunding more than $25 million to students. Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah comes in fourth with more than $18 million in estimated refunds.
The University of West Georgia in Carrollton will pay students back nearly $11.3 million, while Valdosta State University in Valdosta will lose more than $8.6 million in revenues. Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville will lose more than $4.2 million and Columbus State University in Columbus will return nearly $2.6 million in estimated refunds.
By Grace Donnelly Reporter, Atlanta Business Chronicle