Virginia Community Colleges to Increase Tuition
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- Tuition at Virginia community colleges will increase by roughly 3% for the upcoming school year.
- That will amount to a $4.61 increase per credit hour, bringing the total cost of tuition to $2,379.15 for a 15-credit-hour semester.
- The increase in tuition is the first for the state's community colleges in five years.
- Despite that increase, tuition will remain well below that of four-year public schools in the state.
The cost of attending community college in Virginia will go up for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, officials announced July 20.
Tuition at community colleges in Virginia will increase by about 3%, or $4.61 per credit hour, for the 2023-2024 academic year, according to a press release. That tuition increase will bring the cost of tuition to $2,379.15 for a 15-credit-hour semester — well below the cost of public four-year universities in the state.
The tuition increase is the state's first in five years. Community college officials delayed a final decision on the cost increase to see if state lawmakers would negate the financial need via the state budget. But with the 2023-2024 school year looming and deliberations still ongoing, officials said they needed to increase tuition to cover costs.
Even with the increase, officials said the state's community colleges will still struggle to cover their costs during the upcoming school year.
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, Peggy Layne, chair of the State Board of Virginia's Community Colleges, said in the release.
Unfortunately, this increase will not fully cover all of the cost pressures faced by our community colleges in these inflationary times.
David Doré, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges, noted that programs like the state's G3 tuition assistance help cover costs for students to enter into high-demand fields and said keeping the state's community colleges accessible
will remain a top priority.
Our community colleges will continue to do everything we can to remain affordable, deliver high-quality instruction, and support Virginians as they pursue better jobs and better lives through postsecondary education and training, Doré said in the release.
As in many states, community colleges are key to Virginia's efforts to combat workforce shortages and often train workers in high-demand fields. Last year, the state's community colleges announced plans to graduate 35,000 infrastructure workers via a collaborative Virginia Infrastructure Academy.