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Crowds cheer inside of Sanford Stadium before the start of the National Championship Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. Thousands gathered to celebrate Georgia football's national championship, with speeches and presentations from the team and esteemed guests. (Photo/Katie Tucker ktucker@randb.com

The University of Georgia Athletic Association approved a new student ticket football policy, which will prioritize class year over number of credit hours. The new policy will not go into effect until Feb. 1, 2023. 

The policy was suggested by the UGA Student Government Association.

According to a press release from the UGAAA Board of Directors, this is a change that 65% of the 1,472 students surveyed support.

Under the new policy, ticket distribution will be in descending order under a tiered lottery, with the highest priority starting with freshmen and ending with graduate and professional students.

This new policy is a contrast from the current policy, which was adopted four years ago and prioritized incoming freshmen and spring or summer transfer students. The next priority went to students based on their number of in-process credit hours being taken during that semester.

This drew frustration from students as several seniors who did not have 90 or more credit hours, which was prioritized after freshmen and intended to benefit upperclassmen, did not receive many tickets, if any.

Under the new policy, home game tickets will be rewarded by prioritizing freshmen, then seniors followed by juniors, sophomores and ending with fifth-years and graduate and professional students.

90% of the neutral site, post season and away game tickets will be distributed to undergraduates in a priority order starting with seniors followed by juniors, sophomores, freshmen and fifth-years and above at the bottom of the tiered list.

This new priority structure “increases a fourth-year undergraduate’s chances at coveted football tickets by 36%,” according to the release.

These new policies also apply to transfer students who transferred in with 59 hours or less for each year, as well as those with varying transferring and credit hour options regarding the fiscal year for sophomores and above.

Only 10% of tickets will be awarded to graduate and professional students, which will be based on a lottery drawn at random.

The new policy also allows students to donate tickets to the ticket office, where these tickets will be given to students who were not awarded tickets initially. A student will be considered ineligible for any of a season’s remaining games as well as all of the next season’s tickets if they sell or transfer their current tickets outside of the office’s donation system.

If a student is awarded a home game ticket and fails to use it, the student will receive a strike. Two or more strikes will result in an ineligible status for any of a season’s remaining games as well as all of the next season’s tickets.

Although this new policy will be in motion starting Feb. 1, 2023, the UGAAA Board of Directors may also reconsider this policy on or after Feb. 1, 2026.