Columbus State University will now offer in-state tuition for Chambers County, Ala., residents.
The move was approved for fall semester by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
It is a move that will help CSU attract students if the regents approve plans for a satellite campus in West Point, Ga., 40 miles north of Columbus. The site will be near the new Kia automobile manufacturing plant scheduled to open later this year.
“This acknowledges the regional value and impact of Columbus State University,” President Tim Mescon said Tuesday. “This also acknowledges our value on both sides of the Chattahoochee River.”
Currently Russell County and Lee County students can receive waivers for in-state tuition at CSU. The new waiver for Chambers County students means a savings of more than $9,000 per year for those enrolled full time.
Kia, and the more than 2,500 people it will employ, is one of the primary reasons CSU is pushing north into Troup County. The university is looking into a building in the West Point Industrial Park.
What types of classes are offered and when they will be taught are still being discussed, Mescon said.
“We’re still trying to figure that out,” Mescon said. “Since manufacturing is 24/7, there will probably be a mix of everything including online.”
That includes day, night and weekend offerings, Mescon said.
CSU Dean of Enrollment Outreach Kathy Carlisle has been the point person for the expansion into West Point. If all goes well, the university could be offering classes there for the fall semester.
“The reception we have received has been overwhelming and wonderful,” Carlisle said in a university release. “Our goal is to become a major partner in the region and a significant economic driver in the greater valley area. We are committed to supplying the professional workforce for Kia and the future enterprises expected to develop in the near future. This is an exciting time for CSU and our future students from Chambers County.”