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Lindley Estes writes about Spotsylvania County schools, King George County Schools and other issues of interest to the community.

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Germanna tuition to increase $5.50 per credit hour in the fall

UPDATE: Germanna’s College Board just raised its students fees by 50 cents, college spokesman Mike Zitz said.

The board, meeting today, approved a 50 cent student fee increase in the facilities auxiliary fund, raising it from $5.50 to $6 per credit hour to cover a projected shortfall in parking revenues to pay for annual expenses for a parking garage scheduled to open this fall at the Fredericksburg Area Campus, Zitz said.  That brings total student fees to $16.25 per credit hour.

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The Virginia Community College System issued a release today showing that tuition at Germanna Community College will rise $5.50 per credit hour this fall, or $16.50 for the average three-credit hour course.

“It pains us–and any community college– to see tuition increased,” Germanna President David A. Sam said in a prepared statement. “But we remain a bargain in higher education and the State Board’s decision fully funds unavoidable cost increases at community colleges across Virginia. It supports enrollment increases and allows us to offer classes that are preparing students for good jobs in an evolving economy.”

Below is the remainder of the news release from Jeffrey Kraus, assistant vice chancellor for public relations with VCCS.

RICHMONDThe State Board for Community Colleges established the 2012-2013 in-state tuition and mandatory fee rate at $124.50 per credit hour at its 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 VCCS class will increase by $16.50 and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will increase by $165 from $3,570 to $3,735.

The tuition increase was mitigated by General Fund investments Governor Bob McDonnell and the General Assembly made during the 2012 legislative session. The General Fund increase of nearly $21 million represents the first time in six years that state support per in-state VCCS student funding has increased.

The 4.6 percent State Board increase is needed to support community college enrollment growth; expand science, teaching, engineering and mathematics and health science (STEM-H) programs; increase the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty from 43 percent to 45 percent; and cover the inflationary costs of technology, utilities and general expenses.

“It pains us–and any community college– to see tuition increased,” Germanna President David A. Sam said. “But we remain a bargain in higher education and the State Board’s decision fully funds unavoidable cost increases at community colleges across Virginia. It supports enrollment increases and allows us to offer classes that are preparing students for good jobs in an evolving economy.”

Jeffery K. Mitchell, chair of the State Board for Community Colleges, said: “We are grateful for the leadership that the Governor and General Assembly are sharing with Virginia 23 community colleges. We are partnering with those leaders to keep tuition affordable for Virginia families while ensuring our community colleges are able to meet their needs, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health science education.” 

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, mandatory tuition and fees at Virginia’s Community Colleges are just over one-third (37 percent) of the comparable average tuition and fees charged by public four-year institutions.

 Tuition differentials

The State Board also agreed to increase the tuition differential rate for Northern Virginia Community College by $1.50 per credit hour – bringing the differential total to $18.65 per credit hour.  Even with the differential, NVCC’s tuition remains the lowest in the Washington, D.C. metro area. 

The board made no change to the tuition differential rate for J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, leaving the existing differential total at $2.10 per credit hour.

 

 

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