Tuition cap removal to take effect fall 2018

The Wyoming Community College Commission has cut the tuition cap, also known as the tuition flat spot, starting in the fall of 2018. What, exactly, is the tuition cap, and what does this mean for students?

The tuition cap charges students for 12 credits, and anything beyond 12 credits is free. The commission decided to remove the cap mainly because it wasn’t efficiently getting students to take more credits.

The cap was “mostly put in place for the thought that if a student gets to 12 credits and if the next credits don’t cost anything, then they are more likely to enroll in additional credits that would help them complete their degree in a more expedient time frame,” President Dr. Joe Schaffer said.

The tuition cap only affects full-time students because part-time students, by definition, take less than 12 credits.

“The data that are available to us is suggests that a third of students take more than 12 credits meaning that two-thirds of our students are part time students,” Rose said.

Executive Director of WCCC, Jim Rose, said the tuition cap has been in place since 2005, or before he began working for the commission.

Now the commission and community colleges have begun to see that the tuition cap has “unintended or unforeseen consequences that they really thought it was worth looking at again,” Rose said.

“Students are not deterred from taking a full load if they are intent on trying to move to finish in time,” Rose said.

The reason that full-time was set to 12 credits is because that used to be the national benchmark.

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LCCC gained seven new degrees and certificates

Students at Laramie County Community College may have the opportunity to major in several new programs in the near future.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, the LCCC Board of Trustees approved four new programs, three new certificates and three new program concentrations.

“I will have to carry the requests for the programs and certificates forward to the academic affairs council and we will be reviewing those Feb. 7,” Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Terry Harper said. “After the requests go through the Academic Affairs Council, we send them to a sub-committee of the Wyoming Community College Commission. Then they move it forward to the executive council where they will review the requests at the tail-end of April. If the requests are approved, then the four new programs and three new certificates will be added to the programs offered at LCCC.” Harper added that the three concentrations do not require approval from the WCCC.

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Lawmakers, mineral's industry hopeful Trump's energy policies will benefit Wyoming

With the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump, sweeping reforms of legislation are expected to take place. The Affordable Care Act, the Dream Act and even the state of the United States’ involvement in NAFTA are all expected to undergo major changes. However, Trump made promises during his presidential campaign that involve a major industry in Wyoming: minerals.

While running for president, Trump explained that he planned to overturn many of the Environmental Protection Agency standards that were created during the Obama administration. These standards — most notably the Clean Power Plan, which was implemented to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. — have imposed higher regulations on the mining industry, which is a major boom for the Wyoming state economy. This, in turn, has caused many of these businesses to downsize.

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