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Costs to rise 6.3 percent at community colleges in Virginia


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By PHILIP WALZER, The Virginian-Pilot

© March 17, 2006


The state's community college system will raise tuition and fees 6.3 percent next school year, or an extra $135 for full-time students.



At Tidewater Community College, which charges additional fees, the total annual cost for full-timers will rise to $2,430, or $81 per credit hour.


The numbers were approved Thursday by the State Board for Community Colleges .


Glenn DuBois , the chancellor of the two-year system, described the increase as "modest." Part of the additional tuition revenue, he said, will help increase financial aid for part-time students, add full-time professors and bump up faculty raises to 6.2 percent.



The bottom line is, no one likes to increase tuition," DuBois said, "but money just doesn't come from the sky."


Tiara Selby, 20, a science student who attends TCC's Norfolk campus, didn't consider the increase modest.


"I don't feel it's right," Selby said. "It's already hard enough to go to school and get financial aid. If they raise tuition, it'll be even harder."


The tuition increase is about the same, in terms of percentage, as those for the past two years. Under a six-year plan, DuBois said, annual tuition increases at community colleges will fall between 4 and 7 percent through 2009 .


Last year, the State Council of Higher Education estimated that Virginia ranked 29th in the nation in community college tuition, or cheaper than most states.


Including tuition and fees for items such as technology, the minimum cost to attend a Virginia community college in 2006-07 will be $2,270 a year for full-time students.


Tidewater Community College charges an additional $160 a year in fees to help pay for intramural athletics, student activities, cultural events and parking, said Phyllis Milloy , the college's vice president for finance.


Neither the systemwide fees nor the TCC fees will rise in 2006-07.


Norfolk State University's Board of Visitors is expected to decide tuition rates today .

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