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Community colleges to see slight tuition increase

By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A slight tuition fee increase to $133 per credit hour at Alabama’s community colleges will be used to better prepare future workers, system officials say.

The Alabama Community College System board will vote next month on the $2-per-credit hour increase for the 2020-2021 academic year. It’ll generate about $3.5 million a year for the 23-college system.

“We’re training Alabamians to enter a constantly changing workforce, which means our equipment and strategies are constantly updated to ensure our students leave us job ready,” Rachel Adams, ACCS’s communication and marketing administrator, said.

“The proposed $2 tuition rate adjustment, which would not go into effect until fall semester 2020, would provide our colleges with an additional $3.5 million to continue to improve the student experience both in classroom and on our campuses.”

In 2009 the Alabama State Board of Education, then overseeing community colleges, approved an annual rate adjustment of $2 per credit hour beginning with the fall semester of 2011. The increase must be OK’d by the board each year. The only time tuition didn’t go up just $2 was in 2018 when the board approved a $10 increase that was split between the colleges and the ACCS central office.

According to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, the median annual tuition and fees at a two-year college is $4,800.  Four-year colleges have an average annual tuition and fee rate for in-state students of $10,885. Other special costs or fees may be required depending on the program.

“Students enrolled at our colleges are offered the same quality courses they would encounter at four-year institutions but for less than half the price tag,” Adams said. “In many instances, our students are completing their degrees and credentials and entering the workforce with great paying jobs completely debt-free.”

You can see what each community and technical college’s tuition in Alabama is from reports created by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

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