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Regents set student fees for college in Gwinnett

ATLANTA - Students getting ready to attend the new Georgia Gwinnett College this fall can start planning their fee budgets.

The state University System Board of Regents voted Wednesday to charge the school's first crop of students $148 per semester to cover activity, recreational, technology and parking fees.

All of those fees are covered by the HOPE Scholarship

program.

However, university President Dan Kaufman also has requested two other fees that are not covered by HOPE to help pay for a parking garage and student center at the campus off Collins Hill Road in Lawrenceville.

Board members are expected to consider those fees next month.

The fee issue is related to legislation the state Senate passed on Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, is geared specifically toward Georgia Gwinnett, the first standalone institution added to the university system since the 1970s.

A bill lawmakers passed two years ago sought to rein in the costs of the HOPE program by capping the amount of student fees that would be covered by the scholarships.

That language inadvertently left out the Gwinnett college because it did not exist at the time. Thus, new legislation was necessary, which senators approved swiftly on Wednesday.

"I'm hopeful it will get through the House as expeditiously as it did through the Senate,'' Kaufman said after the vote.

Georgia Gwinnett College, created by the General Assembly last year, will enroll 300 to 500 juniors this fall. Some 2,000 to 3,000 freshmen will follow in the fall semester of 2007.

Staff writer Camie Young contributed to this report.