Lorain County Community College’s tuition will rise 3.5 percent or $3.15 per credit hour from $90.60 to $93.75 per credit hour beginning this summer due to state budget challenges for higher education. The uncertainty over a decline in state revenues combined with the shortfall during the past year alone of more than 10 percent in state funding for every student enrolled at Lorain County Community College is impacting students at a time when earning a college degree is critical more than ever to their success. The State budget adopted for this biennium slashed $190 million from the higher education budget. It also passed along increased costs to students by eliminating the statewide tuition freeze that had been in effect for the past two years. Accordingly the Ohio Board of Regents authorized colleges to raise tuition 3.5 percent for the next year.
“What this means is that LCCC is serving more students with less funding per student than ever before,” said LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church. “We are committed to maintaining quality and therefore are forced to raise tuition to deal with the financially challenged state budget.”
LCCC’s new tuition rate, which was approved today (March 25) by the College’s Board of Trustees, marks only the second time since 2006 that LCCC has increased tuition. Even with this modest tuition increase, LCCC students will be paying the third lowest tuition rate in Ohio. Lorain County residents who are enrolled full-time will pay $98.80 per credit hour for tuition and fees. Full-time tuition and fees per semester will be $1,284.40 and $2,568.80 annually. This equals an $85.80 increase per year for a full-time student. LCCC’s annual tuition is approximately $1,000 less than the average full-time tuition for Ohio’s state-assisted two-year colleges.
LCCC has experienced record enrollments during the past decade with full-time equivalent enrollments increasing 104 percent since 2000. This spring semester, 16,000 students are enrolled at LCCC and the University Partnership. During this same time-period, state funding has fallen 22 percent for each LCCC student served. The College anticipates even more significant funding challenges next year as an anticipated $300 million per year of federal stimulus money for Ohio’s higher education budget is expected to end.
To help offset the financial impact from the loss of state funding LCCC has implemented a wide range of budget measures during this current year that result in saving, recovering, or redirecting over $3.5 million. LCCC’s belt-tightening strategies affect all areas of the college’s operations, including human resources, instruction, facilities, purchasing, and equipment.
LCCC students receive an excellent return on their investment since associate degree graduates earn an average of $36,058 for starting salaries, which is more than 8 percent higher than bachelor-degree holders.
Registration is currently under way for the summer semester, which begins on May 24. Information is available online at www.lorainccc.edu. LCCC students can save more by participating in the College’s innovative blanket tuition plan. This offers a significant value and discount by providing students with the opportunity to sign up for up to 18 credit hours and pay for only 13 credit hours per semester, resulting in a savings up to $494 each semester. Approximately 24 percent of LCCC’s 13,000 students use this plan.
An increase in Federal Pell Grant funding will assist the neediest students attending LCCC with $5,500 available annually for students. This increase in federal financial aid more than covers the increased annual tuition. LCCC also offers significant scholarships and grants through the LCCC Foundation. Students can contact the Financial Service Center at 440-366-4034 or visit online at www.lorainccc.edu/financialaid for assistance.