March 26, 2019 Richard Rezler
The Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees has approved the college’s plan to freeze tuition costs for in-district students for a second consecutive year, maintaining WCC’s status as one of the most affordable higher education options in the state of Michigan.
The unanimous approval by the board at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 26 will keep WCC’s 2019-20 academic year on-campus tuition rate at $95 per credit hour and online tuition at $108 per credit hour for all students who live, work or own property in Washtenaw County.
“Our college continues to receive significant and much-appreciated support from Washtenaw County residents and, in turn, we continue to provide the people of our community with a high-quality and highly affordable educational opportunity,” said WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. “We’re pleased that our multi-year financial forecast allows us to keep in-district tuition rates flat for another year.”
This is the second straight year the college has held in-district tuition rates constant after limiting increases to just $1 per credit hour – or roughly 1 percent – prior to the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. WCC’s $95 on-campus, in-district tuition rate was the second-lowest among the 28 community colleges in Michigan in 2018-19. WCC also had the second-lowest non-course fees in the state, more than $20 per credit below the average, based on the college’s own analysis.
In fact, the college’s full-time in-district cost per semester has increased just 8.5 percent since Fall 2012, well below the country’s cumulative inflation rate for that timeframe and well below the average increase at all other community colleges in Michigan during that time.
According to the most recent data available from the American Association of Community Colleges, WCC’s annual in-district tuition rate of $2,280 for full-time students (24 credits) is 38-percent less than the average tuition of the 1,051 community colleges across the country ($3,660) and 78 percent less than the average at the nation’s four-year institutions ($10,230).
The board also approved a 2-percent increase for the out-of-district tuition rate and a 3-percent increase to the out-of-state tuition rate for 2019-20 that coincide with general inflation levels. A 4-percent increase to the International student tuition rate will offset additional operating resources required to support those students.