Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

June 19, 2013

Modest increase

Community and technical still most affordable option

The Independent

ASHLAND — Full-time students at Ashland Community and Technical College will be paying an average of $60 more in tuition this fall under a modest 2.86 percent increase approved Friday by the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Board of Regents.

In addition to ACTC, the same tuition increases were approved for all 16 schools in the community and technical college system, including the ones in Maysville and Prestonsburg.

Tuition for in-state students will rise from $140 to $144 per credit hour. The increase is quite modest compared to past years when double-digit annual increases in tuition  were not unusual. Most students and their families should be able to handle the small increase without placing any great additional strain on their budget.

The state’s community and technical colleges remain the most affordable higher education option in the state. That’s one reason why the community and technical colleges are the fastest growing colleges in the state. Receiving a two-year associate’s degree at a community and technical college and then transferring to a four-year school can significantly reduce the cost of receiving a bachelor’s degree.

Another way students can reduce the cost of college is by better preparing themselves for college work while they are still in high school. Far too many high school graduates must take non-credit remedial courses in reading, math or English before they can enroll in courses that count toward a degree. While students get  no credit for those remedial courses. they must pay for them at the same rate as they do other classes.

We commend the community and technical colleges for holding the line on tuition. Now if they could just do something about the outrageous prices companies charge for college textbooks. That’s a significant cost of college that many young people don’t think about until their first trip to the bookstore.