AUGUSTA, Ga. -

Seven months after the Georgia Board of Regions decided to merge eight state institutions into four, two of the consolidated schools have decided on new names.

The new name for the combined Waycross College and South Georgia College in Douglas will be South Georgia State College. 

Officials say the schools were among the smallest in the system before the merger, and their combination will raise the status from "college" to "state college," a ranking that registers increased stature within the system.

Officials say the schools were among the smallest in the system before the merger, and their combination will raise the status from "college" to "state college," a ranking that registers increased stature within the system.

Other names considered for the merged college include Georgia Southeastern College, Satilla State College, South Georgia College and Southeast Georgia State College.

“Naming the new institution is a very important endeavor and establishes the institution’s identity," said Dr. Virginia Carson, president of South Georgia College who will also serve as president of the new institution.

The group from Augusta's Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University is recommending Georgia Regents University. Other names offered include Georgia Arts & Sciences University and University of Augusta.

The system picked the name despite an objection from the Virginia-based Regent University, which is a mostly online school that operates in Georgia and other states.

Coming up with names for these new colleges has proved emotional and controversial.

The mergers are scheduled to completed by the start of the 2013-14 academic year. Chancellor Hank Huckaby has said the move will save money on administrative costs and those savings will be redirected to academic programs.