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First time in five years Virginia’s Community Colleges increase tuition

Recognizing the impact of mandatory cost increases, which include statewide adjustments for compensation and benefits, the State Board for Community Colleges voted unanimously to increase tuition for the first time in five years. This increase of $4.61 per credit hour (3%) will go into effect for the 2023-2024 academic 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,” said Peggy Layne, Chair, the State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges.  “Unfortunately, this increase will not fully cover all of the cost pressures faced by our community colleges in these inflationary times.”

At about one-third of the comparable costs of tuition of Virginia’s public four-year universities, Virginia’s Community Colleges remain Virginia’s most affordable pathway to better jobs. The new rate is $158.61 per credit hour or $2,379.15 for a 15-credit-hour semester. The tuition increase only applies to tuition as other mandatory fees vary at the community college level.

Virginia’s Community Colleges have held the same tuition rate for five consecutive years and even delayed making a decision since May in order to wait for the General Assembly to conclude deliberations on the State Budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Since state budget deliberations are ongoing, the State Board determined a tuition increase was necessary to ensure continued quality instruction and uninterrupted services to community college students. 

“Keeping Virginia’s Community Colleges accessible to Virginians will remain a top priority,” said Dr. David Doré, Chancellor for Virginia’s Community Colleges.  “We’re grateful for programs like G3 tuition assistance, offered as a last-dollar support to students with a household income generally less than $100,000 and pursuing high-demand career fields, and FastForward, a pay-for-performance program that incentivizes students to complete short-term credential training programs for Virginia’s most in-demand jobs. 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.”

There were no increases to the tuition differential rates charged at eight of Virginia’s 23 community colleges (Brightpoint, Germanna, Northern Virginia, Piedmont Virginia, Reynolds, Tidewater, Virginia Peninsula, and Virginia Western). Tuition differential rates allow colleges to address unique and specific institutional priorities.  The revised tuition rates, which are inclusive of the tuition differential, specific to these colleges will be posted on their websites.