Dec 26, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterThe Wyoming Community College Commission has voted to raise tuition at the state's seven campuses by 5 percent next year in a move that Central Wyoming College executive vice president for student and academic services Jason Wood called "bittersweet."
"The situation needs to keep pace with the cost of education, and students bear a portion of that," Wood said Friday. "But we'd much rather see these small, incremental increases than double-digit increases every couple of years."
In other states, he said, colleges have seen 20 percent tuition increases, or class costs go up in the middle of the year.
"It's just a nightmare," he said. "So we're fortunate the commission had the foresight to plan incrementally. ... We're pleased it worked out that way."
The 5 percent increase represents an extra $4 per credit for students, or $48 per semester for people with a full course load.
"Our students can kind of expect a little bit of a bump, but they're not going to get hit hard all at once," Wood said.
He added that local scholarship packages do a lot to support community college students.
"We do all we can to have those keep pace with the increases," Wood said. "We're certainly sensitive to the students and their needs."
The CWC Board of Trustees last week supported the 5 percent increase in tuition.
CWC President Jo Anne McFarland said the change would help the school provide a high-quality education to its students, and she pointed out that tuition rates are low in Wyoming compared to surrounding states.
"It also is low even compared to family income in our area," she said.
McFarland said such increases have been "manageable" for
students, and board chairman Charlie Krebs and trustee Scott Phister agreed that a 5 percent increase "wouldn't hit too hard."
Between 2002 and 2008, he said increases amounted to $2-3 per credit hour each year. In 2009 and 2010, tuition rates remained the same, with a 5 percent increase implemented for the 2011-12 school year.
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