Dalton State College facing serious budget cuts - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dalton State College facing serious budget cuts

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Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

Dalton, GA (WRCB) -- In Dalton, like many cities, the trickle down effect is a big cut to education.  They're facing a budget cut for the 3rd straight year. Meaning tuition is again on the rise. Students there weren't shy about it, they say they're feeling the pinch.

"If it hits it hit's across the board, and that's not a good thing, a lot of students that don't have any other option but school to make the money that we need to live, it knocks us out of the realm," said student Gowanda McCrary.

McCrary has been at Dalton State for two years. She's doing what she can to make sure her son can one day afford college, but it's barely affordable now.

She raises a few good questions.

"If you're cutting so much right now, what does my son have to look forward to, what will it cost. To me that should be the last thing you should cut," said McCrary.

Administrators are just as frustrated. If the state decides to cut 10 percent from the 35 Georgia colleges, Dalton State would need a 30 percent tuition hike.

They've been preparing, they say tuition will not go up that much, but cuts will be made.

"This is nothing new that we're hearing about, we're hoping it won't be as bad as we're thinking it can be," said Scott Bailey, Dalton State Fiscal Affairs.

In the past two years, Dalton States enrollment has jumped by more than 1,000.

When enrollment jumps they depend on funds from the state. Turns out that's also not in the new budget.

Bailey agrees the unemployment rate in north Georgia is causing more to enroll.

McCrary asks how can you get a job if you can't afford a degree.

"There's no way to get from, I was doing this for 25 years now I have to go do something different." says McCrary, "And if they don't have the education and can't afford to do it, then it's like cutting them off at the neck, what are they gonna do now"

DSC President John Schwenn is in Atlanta trying to learn exactly how big of a budget cut they'll be forced to make. They are hoping to know by the end of the week.

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