Alex Delaney-Gesing

Lorain County Community College’s District  Board of Trustees ruled in favor of raising the tuition rate for students on Jan. 22. Set to take effect beginning the start of the 2015 summer semester, this change comes as a result of maintaining and ensuring high quality programs available for LCCC students.

It’s never an easy decision to raise student tuition,” said Tracy Green, LCCC vice president for strategic and institutional development. “We’ve looked for others ways to garner support and so when we’re asking for an increase in tuition, it’s when it has become absolutely necessary.”

The price per credit hour will be raised $3.84, equating to approximately $100 more for students per semester. Currently, the tuition price for a full-time student at LCCC stands at $3,077. With the approved raise, the number will climb to $3,177. Per credit hour, the present cost (including tuition and fees) totals $118.34. After implementation of the increase, the figures will rise to $122.18.

Despite this slight upturn for students, LCCC will remain having one of the lowest tuition rates among the 23 community colleges in the state of Ohio. While currently second, the increased rate will move its ranking down third only to Sinclair Community College (with $2,972) and Cuyahoga Community College (with $3,136).

“We are still by far one of the lowest [priced] community colleges in the state of Ohio, and certainly the lowest among any public university,” Green said, “But we’re also in an environment where we have to keep pace with the quality of the programs, and so when other institutions have more resources to put into academic programs and student-support services, we need to be able to do the same.”

At LCCC, a high quality of education is a necessity in ensuring student’s success. However , the college’s revenue growth per student in comparison to inflation rates over the past fifteen years has led to a decrease in its overall progress, according to a press release statement from the office of LCCC’s vice president for strategic and institutional growth.  In the past, the state share of instruction contributed to 47 percent of the college’s functioning budget. However, today only 38 percent is covered by the state.

With this in mind, raising the tuition rate for students is a necessary step in order to continue to implement and maintain high quality programs at LCCC.

“Staying competitive with institutions that have greater resources, such as higher tuition, to invest in student support services and academic programs will be challenging in the long-term,” Dr. Roy Church, president of LCCC, said in a press release. “This modest tuition increase keeps LCCC among the lowest tuitions in the state, but attempts to keep pace with sector.”

Although this price change will take effect beginning this summer semester, students currently enrolled full-time who plan to continue on at LCCC in the fall will not be affected.

“When [the students] come back to us in the fall and continue full-time, their tuition is going to be held to this year’s rate,” said Green. “ It will not go up as long as they’re full-time until they achieve their degree.