CACC sees 16% tuition increasePublished 6:44pm Monday, June 13, 2011
The Alabama State Board of Education has approved nearly a 16 percent increase in tuition for two-year colleges in the state.
Beginning next fall, tuition at all 22 colleges and four technical schools in the Alabama Community College System, which includes Central Alabama Community College, will rise from $92 per hour to $107. That amounts to almost $500 per year more students must pay.
Brett Pritchard, coordinator of public and high school relations at CACC, said it’s a choice the system had to make.
“Just in the last three years, we’ve lost $2.3 million in our budget,” Pritchard said. “When you combine losing money with the need for more technology and improvements in the classroom, it’s something that had to be done across the board.”
Reports indicate that the tuition hike will generate more than $30 million in revenue.
Pritchard said junior colleges have been reasonable with how often they have increased tuition in recent years.
“I think the two-year college systems have done a good job of raising tuition fairly,” Pritchard said. “If you look at four-year institutions, you’ll see their costs go up almost on a yearly basis. But for us to do what we need to do in the classroom, there was really no choice but to do this.”
Pritchard said the extra money collected from the higher costs will go right back to the students.
“When you go to college, you’re investing in your future,” Pritchard said. “The extra revenue will go straight into providing better services for students.”
Pritchard said CACC will still have the same amount of money allotted to scholarships next fall, but he encouraged students to apply for financial aid in the form of pell grants or loans.
Since 2008, the Alabama Community College System’s budget has decreased at least $124 million.