Virginia students heading to any of the commonwealth’s 23 community colleges in the coming year will find tuition 3 percent higher. It’s the first tuition hike in five years.
The State Board of Community Colleges last week voted for the increase of $4.61 per credit. Students will now pay $158.61 per credit hour, or $2,379.15 for a 15 credit-hour semester. Other mandatory fees will vary.
Earlier this year, the board delayed making a tuition decision as it waited to see how budget negotiations in the Virginia General Assembly would go. State lawmakers passed what’s being called a “skinny budget” that doesn’t fully fund community colleges or local governments.
“We reviewed the options of further delaying a decision, which would have adversely impacted our students, or we could move forward with a tuition increase to ensure continued high quality instruction,” said Peggy Layne, chair of the State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Unfortunately, this increase will not fully cover all of the cost pressures faced by our community colleges in these inflationary times.”
Eight of the colleges, including Northern Virginia Community College and Germanna, charge a tuition differential to address specific priorities at each school. They will not increase that differential rate, but will increase the per credit tuition rate along with the rest of the community college system. Rates will be posted on each school’s website.
The tuition increase for the community colleges comes after many of the state’s public universities increased tuition between 2.85 and 4.7 percent. George Mason University increased tuition $300 and added a 3 percent increase to mandatory students fees and room and board. Virginia Tech’s tuition increased 4.9 percent.
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