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Virginia: State Board for Community Colleges approves 3 percent tuition increase

Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System Dr. David Dore meets with BRCC President John Downey and student at BRCC on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Photo by Rebecca J. Barnabi.

Recognizing the additional funding approved by the governor and Virginia General Assembly, the State Board for Community Colleges voted yesterday to limit base tuition increases to 3 percent for in-state students.

A $4.79 per credit hour tuition increase for in-state students (3 percent) will go into effect in the fall semester for the 2024-2025 academic year.

“We are committed to providing affordable access to high quality programs for Virginians,” said Peggy Layne, chair of the State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “We’re not immune from rising costs, but we are proud that we have been able to maintain tuition rates at about one-third of the average comparable tuition at Virginia’s public four-year universities.”

The new in-state rate is $163.40 per credit hour, or $2,451.00 for a 15 credit-hour semester. The tuition increase only applies to the tuition and education and general (E&G) fee which covers general operating costs. Note that some colleges have tuition differentials and other mandatory fees covering student activities and auxiliary operations vary at the community college level.

Virginia’s Community Colleges remain Virginia’s most affordable and accessible pathway to better jobs. Yet, the Commonwealth’s 23 community colleges remain the lowest-funded higher education institutions in Virginia, receiving less than 57 cents for every one dollar that goes to support a full-time equivalent student at a public Virginia university. Expenditures per full-time student at Virginia’s Community Colleges are in the 23rd percentile in the nation, which means 77 percent of community colleges across the country spend more per student.

“Many of our learners have limited financial resources and inflationary pressures only serve to exacerbate their situation,” Dr. David Doré, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, said. “But our colleges can and do provide programs that afford life-changing benefits to our learners, such as FastForward, which incentivizes them to complete short-term credential training programs for Virginia’s most in-demand jobs at a fraction of the cost they might otherwise incur. And our G3 tuition-assistance program has proven quite effective in removing many of the financial challenges that Virginia’s learners routinely encounter.”

Before July 2023, Virginia’s Community Colleges held the same tuition rate for five consecutive years. Virginia’s community college system was founded in 1966.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.