The State Board for Community Colleges, by a unanimous vote, recently established the 2017-18 academic year in-state tuition and mandatory fees rate at $150.25 per credit hour.
Beginning this fall, in-state students will pay an additional $4 per credit hour—an increase of 2.7%— which, means the cost of a typical three-hour class will increase by $12 and the cost of a full-time load of classes for the year will increase by $120.
RCC’S fall semester, which is now available for enrollment, will begin August 28.
The new rate keeps community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs at Virginia’s public four-year universities.
Virginia’s Community Colleges will use the tuition increase to pay a share of the General Assembly-approved employee pay raise, rising fringe benefit costs and costs associated with using various Virginia administrative systems. It also will pay for operating costs for new buildings.
“Our state board remains sensitive to the need to ensure higher education is affordable for Virginia families,” said James Cuthbertson, chairman of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges. “Accordingly, today’s tuition decision strikes a careful balance between that need and our commitment to provide an outstanding and worthy educational experience.”
The board increased the tuition rate for out-of-state students by $4 per credit hour to a total of $346.85 per credit hour. As required by law, the board also approved an increase of $1 per credit hour to support the debt service for Virginia’s Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund. Out-of-state students make up approximately 5% of the total enrollment of Virginia’s Community Colleges.
The board also elected to take advantage of a change in state law that allows public institutions to charge reduced tuition and mandatory fees to active duty military members stationed outside Virginia who are enrolled in degree programs associated with their military occupational specialty (MOS).
The out-of-state active duty military discount essentially allows the VCCS to charge active service members a reduced tuition rate along with the capital fee required of all out-of-state students. The discount will save military members more than half of what they would otherwise pay in out-of-state tuition.