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Community College tuition to increase 4.4 percent

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The State Board for Community Colleges raised in-state tuition 4.4 percent for the 2013-14 school year to $130 per credit hour.

Starting this fall, in-state students will pay $5.50 more per credit hour. The increase means the cost of a typical three-hour class will rise $16.50, and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will rise by $165.

The board said the tuition increase would allow the commonwealth’s 23 community colleges to expand science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and health-science programs.

The extra money also will increase the percentage of courses taught by full-time faculty from 45 percent to 47.5 percent – a level last seen in the community college system in 2005.

The state board also agreed to increase the tuition differential rate for Northern Virginia Community College by $2 per credit hour and $1 per credit hour for J. Sargeant Reynolds, Tidewater, Thomas Nelson and Virginia Western community colleges.

Tidewater Community College will offset that tuition differential with a $1 decrease in its student activity fee.

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.

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