ABAC prides itself in keeping the cost of education low and providing students with an affordable way to receive a two-year or four-year degree. The drawback to keeping our college affordable is our athletic department has a small handful of sports teams for athletes and fans to choose from.
ABAC students pay $88 in athletic fees per semester, and overall the price for an in-state student to attend ABAC for a full school year is $17,898 and out-of-state students pay approximately $26,298. When it comes to sports, ABAC offers baseball, tennis and golf for men. Women at ABAC can pick from softball, soccer or tennis. The ABAC Athletic department has 13 employees including five head coaching positions.
The University of Georgia (UGA) is comparatively more expensive than ABAC. A full academic school year at UGA costs in-state students $26,688 and out-of-state students $45,762. This provides more funding for UGA to offer more athletic teams for students. UGA offers eight teams for men’s sports and 11 teams for women to choose from.
There is interest on campus for ABAC’s Athletic Department to extend the list of sports to include cross country. The idea is that adding cross-country to the list might not increase the cost of education as dramatically as adding a football team would. According to Marcus Johnson, “As a former AD, I know that it is a relatively inexpensive sport to fund and that there is growing interest in the area.”
Cross country is a sport for long-distance track runners to compete in marathon type races. Assuming, the only cost that should come from adding the team is uniforms, race entry fees and travel fees to get to and from competitions.
With the addition of Bainbridge, ABAC has increased the size of their student population. ABAC currently has approximately 3,400 students. When 3,400 people pay an athletic fee of $88, that becomes $299,200. If ABAC increased that athletic fee to just $90, then it would raise $306,000 for the ABAC Athletic Department. With an extra seven grand and the minor fee increase, that could produce the money for a cross country team.
If ABAC administration and students push back on the request for the addition of a cross country team, then there are other ways to give runners on campus a way to compete in their sport. The Recreational Sports Director, Jason Pace, is constantly looking for new rec sports to add to the list. For example, if Pace knew that there was a growing interest in cross country on campus, he could set up a race that gives students an opportunity on a recreational level.
The current ABAC Athletic Director, Alan Kramer said, “Keeping the cost of higher education down for our students is out in front of all decision making.” ABAC may not offer many sports to choose from for athletes, but it does offer affordable two-year and four-year degrees.