Hiring Additional Full-Time Instructors, Offering More STEM-H* Programs Drive State Board Tuition Policy for 2013-2014 – 5.16.13
RICHMOND — The State Board for Community Colleges established the 2013-2014 in-state tuition and mandatory fees rate at $130 per credit hour at its regular May meeting. Beginning this fall in-state students will pay an additional $5.50 per credit hour, which means the cost of a typical three-hour class will increase by $16.50 and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will by $165.
The approved 4.4 percent increase will allow Virginia’s Community Colleges to expand science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and health science (STEM-H) programs. It will increase the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty from 45 percent to 47.5 percent – a level not seen throughout the VCCS since 2005. The increase will also fund the colleges’ portion of employee salary increases and higher health insurance costs.
“This tuition decision balances our priorities of access and quality. It permits Virginia’s Community Colleges to advance its long-held goal of hiring more full-time faculty members and offering more science and technology programs, which are expensive to offer, while adhering to our public promise of affordability,” said Hank W. Chao, chair of the State Board for Community Colleges.
KEEPING A PUBLIC PROMISE
The board’s tuition decision is in accord with Achieve 2015, the VCCS six-year strategic plan that calls for keeping community college tuition and fee rates at one-half or less than that of the comparable rates at Virginia’s four-year universities.
Currently, tuition and mandatory fees at Virginia’s Community Colleges are just over one-third (37.6 percent) of the average of comparable tuition and fees charged by Virginia’s public four-year institutions.
The State Board also agreed to increase the tuition differential rate for Northern Virginia Community College by $2.00 per credit hour. Even with the differential, NVCC’s tuition remains the lowest among comparable colleges in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Further, the board approved an increase of $1.00 per credit hour to the tuition differential rate for J. Sargeant Reynolds, Tidewater, Thomas Nelson and Virginia Western community colleges. Tidewater Community College will offset that tuition differential with a $1.00 decrease in its student activity fee. The tuition differential will help the included colleges attract and retain instructors in more competitive urban and suburban labor markets.
The State Board increased the tuition rate for out-of-state students by $5.50 per credit hour to a total of $324.60 per credit hour. Out-of-state students make up approximately five percent of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 405,000 students a year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.