Posted at 4 p.m. Feb. 7, 2017
Commissions to decide whether or not to raise tuition
Due to the recent budget cuts that have affected Laramie County Community College as well as other schools and entities across the state, there is concern that tuition will rise in an effort to soften the impact. The Wyoming Community College Commission will discuss the current tuition rate at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 9 at the Pathfinder building. The goal of tuition cost is to remain “as nearly free as possible.” In order for this to happen, the WCCC has biannual meetings to determine if this is being accomplished. Jim Rose, executive director of the WCCC, said that tuition is determined by the affordability and sustainability paired with the property taxes, state aid, and comparison to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education that compares college pricing against other colleges in a specified area.
The recent elections of 2016 elections named the new incoming members of the LCCC Board of Trustees, which controls the price of fees while the WCCC controls the cost of tuition. Because the meetings with the WCCC are biannual, the current price of tuition is more than likely to remain stable.
Commission members decided to maintain the cost of tuition at the last meeting, but President Dr. Joe Schaffer said that in a crisis situation, tuition could be raised by a majority vote. Other ideas that have been viewed as possible solutions without raising tuition include removing the cap on credit hours or raising the price of certain programs. Currently there is a cap on credits that allows the student to pay tuition up to 12 credit hours, but any amount taken over that is free. If the commission chooses to remove the cap, students that take more than 12 credit hours will see an increase in tuition costs.
WCCC is also looking at the cost of certain degree programs versus others. This would mean that the programs that cost more to teach, and yield more of a profit to the student once in the career would cost more for the student to take the course load than someone in a less expensive major.