GA Congressman Drew Ferguson discusses higher education at Colum - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GA Congressman Drew Ferguson discusses higher education at Columbus roundtable

GA Congressman Drew Ferguson (Source: WTVM) GA Congressman Drew Ferguson (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) visited Columbus State University to meet with university presidents and staff from around the Third District for a higher education roundtable.

News Leader 9 caught up with the newly serving Congressman to hear what issues he’s in town to tackle.

“Quite candidly I want to get some information back and some ideas to take back to committee [in Washington],” said Ferguson. “Some things are working very well, here in Georgia, and making these educational institutions very successful,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson said one of the concerns frequently brought up by the university presidents in attendance at today’s meeting, dealt with student financial aid and educational enrollment costs. University presidents and leaders included LaGrange College, Point University, Columbus State University, University of West Georgia and Gordon State College.

“We heard very clearly that students having access to Pell grants and student loans were very important,” said Ferguson. “But we also recognize that we’ve got to maximize those dollars in our education system and we’ve got to make sure we are doing everything we can to help these students graduate on time,” said Ferguson.

But it’s not just large universities Ferguson said he is focused on. He said technical colleges, dual enrollment and associate's degree programs are bringing strength to the Georgia educational system. Ferguson said they also cut costs of tuition dramatically.

“Students who come out of a local high school with basically an associate's degree would only have to spend two years in college and therefore there is a lot less student debt,” said Ferguson.

One of the specific schools Ferguson praised included the THINC academy, in Lagrange Georgia. Ferguson made a stop by the academy earlier this week during his visit to the Chattahoochee Valley.

“It's a unique and innovative situation at the THINC academy in Georgia,” said Ferguson. “High school students in the area spend part of their day in the THINC college and career academy and it really gets them focused and headed in a different direction.”

Click here to learn more about Ferguson’s political background.

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