I decided to write this blog post after being approached by an older man who proceeded to tell me that I have reason to complain about Georgia State University’s tuition rates and athletic fees. I was irritated because, while I am sympathetic to those who have lost a significant amount of HOPE and Pell funding, GSU tuition rates are far cheaper than those for UGA, Georgia Tech and Emory. Also, our football team is like any other investment, it needs time to grow. Regardless, I want people to understand that we can increase the value of our GSU degrees significantly.
I want people all over the world to recognize GSU. When I tell people I graduated from GSU I want that statement to have a significant impact. It’s definitely possible to build up the reputation and ranking of GSU. Here are a few ways.
Use the power of word of mouth. With 33,000 students, if everyone were to say good things about GSU, I’m pretty sure we could create a good reputation and attract more external donors, which would create better facilities, which would attract notable professors as well as talented athletes and maybe a future Bill Gates or two. Be an ambassador! Talk to people you know about GSU and your positive experiences here.
It’s really easy to focus on the bad stuff about school. The annoying students who eat smelly food in class, the expensive books and cuts in HOPE, or the frustration of One Stop Shop. I have news for you: this stuff exists at every school! Focus on the good things, such as the school’s diversity and culture, proximity to amazing internships, events, organizations and amazing speakers, and state-of-the-art facilities like the Petit Science Center. On top of all that, think of the opportunities for graduate assistantships and access to influential people like professors, deans, alumni, emeriti, the president and local business leaders! Spread the good word and increase GSU’s appeal and the value of your degree.
Give back! Overall participation from graduates and alumni is important to Georgia State. This participation rate is used by the U.S. News and World Report and others as one of the factors in determining Georgia State’s ranking among other universities. Whether through time or money, supporting GSU after graduation will eventually increase the value of your degree.
The Alumni Association works really hard to create amazing events and opportunities for students and grads. This builds up the GSU community and encourages support from all stakeholders. Donate money through the Class Gift Campaign to help cover the cost of tuition for students who want to attend GSU but need financial help in addition to state funding. When you contribute at any level, you are increasing the value of a Georgia State degree.
Get involved on campus and make the most of your time here. We have more student organizations than many other campuses. Students who get involved and get experience in their fields automatically have an upper hand in the job market after graduation. GSU grads are already doing amazing things, but gaining valuable experience and contacts while in school can allow all of us to achieve greatness.