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Community college tuition increases 7.5 percent

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The Virginia State Board of Community Colleges agreed Thursday to increase tuition by 7.5 percent, meaning the average student will pay an additional $225 each year.

The tuition and mandatory fee rate will be $107.50 per credit hour, using federal stimulus money to offset the increase. Without the stimulus money, the rate would have increased to $109.50 per credit hour.

The board says the increase is needed because of state budget cuts and a 13.7 percent increase in student enrollment in the most recent semester.

State funding for Virginia’s community colleges has fallen $64 million since economy-driven cuts began in 2008, says Jeff Kraus, assistant vice chancellor for public relations. About $53 million in federal stimulus money partially made up for the decrease in state funding. At the end of the next two-year budget, cuts will reach $105 million.

The board also allowed Northern Virginia Community College to raise its “differential” rate an additional $3 per credit hour. It now costs $14.35 more per credit hour than other community colleges. The increase is to be used for hiring full-time faculty and increasing financial aid.

The board also approved an increase of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s differential rate by $1 to $2.20 per credit hour.  The college plans to hire full-time faculty and increase daytime colleges and financial aid.


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