Most students at East Central College will see tuition remain unchanged next year, according to a plan approved by college trustees Monday, April 6. However, students in four career-technical programs at East Central College will pay more tuition this fall, due to the higher cost of operating those programs.
Trustees Monday night approved a two-tier tuition model. Tier 1 is the same tuition structure that is in place this year. Tier 2 includes higher tuition for precision machining, industrial engineering technology, nursing and culinary arts classes.
“These are our highest-cost programs,” noted Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president. “The tuition rate for classes in these programs will be at 125 percent of the appropriate in-district, out-of-district, out-of-state or international rate.” He stated that Tier 2 tuition only applies to classes in the programs; students would still pay the base, or Tier 1, rate for general education courses.
The current Tier 1 rate remains at $76 per credit hour for in-district students. Out-of-district students pay $111 per credit hour. Tuition for out-of-state students is $168 per credit hour, while the tuition rate for international students remains at $181 per credit hour.
Tier 2 courses will cost $95 per credit hour for in-district students and $139 per credit hour for out-of-district students. Out-of-state students will pay $210 per credit hour with the rate for international students set at $226.
“Charging a higher rate of tuition acknowledges that fact that there are vastly different costs for our academic programs,” Bauer said. Based on data from the 2013-14 academic year, the cost per full-year equivalent student was $14,459 for culinary arts, $13,169 for nursing, $11,833 for industrial engineering technology and $9,088 for precision machining.
Bauer noted that a growing number of college and universities are using differential tuition to account for the adjustment in program costs. “Even with these changes, tuition at ECC remains very affordable compared to competing institutions,” stated Bauer.
Based on current enrollment, college officials estimate that the change in tuition will generate approximately $84,000 in additional revenue.
The college will continue to evaluate program costs and may recommend other programs for Tier 2 tuition in the future.