Tuition increase set to take effect fall quarter

Tuition fees for students in community colleges in Washington State will increase beginning fall quarter of 2008. This means that students of Bellevue Community College will be paying a percentage more than the current rate beginning just after summer.

This week, the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges approved a two percent increase in tuition fees.

With that being said, one should be prepared to pay a little bit more than the usual.

However, this increase in fees is not an uncommon matter. In fact it happens every year. Last year, as well, prices went up in the fall quarter but the percentage was too tiny for anyone to notice and it didn’t hurt that many pockets.

As of now, tuition fees for part-timers, i.e, students enrolled in up to ten credits pay $82.80 plus additional costs like lab fees and technology fees, etc.

Full-time students and those taking over 18 credits have to pay $30.40 and $71.70 respectively plus the above-mentioned additional charges.

As seen from the experiences of the previous years, the rise in tuition fees is not likely to scare the students away. But the question that seems to be going around is whether students can afford to pay $1,100 or more per quarter to further their education.

This might be harder than it looks as students who live on their own or have families to look after might find it hard to make ends meet. With the cost of living increasing every passing day, a hefty sum of money is spent on paying for bills, food and utilities and other maintenances and it will not be an easy task to put aside some money for school fees and school supplies including books.

According to recent studies, the annual cost of attending a two-year school has gone up by $1,215 dollars in the last decade and its further increase with the passage of time seems only inevitable. But things might not be as bad as this looks. Even with the increased rate of tuition fees, students will still be eligible for financial aid.

The criteria that students are required to fulfill in order to receive aid will most likely remain unchanged. Nonetheless, this also means that the amount of grants that students receive based on the number of credits they are enrolled in is also likely to increase to provide additional support to the students. Therefore, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form available online or in the Financial Aid Department when applying for the aid.

Also it is compulsory to complete the online Financial Aid Orientation. Failure to comply with these two processes might delay the processing of the financial aid application.

Also applicants must be residents of Washington state and must meet the criteria as required. Students are encouraged to apply for the aid before the deadline ends and it is absolutely vital for them to maintain at least a minimum 2.0GPA per quarter. Not being able to do so might result in the loss of the aid.

For international students, scholarships are the best bet. Certain types of scholarships have terms and conditions that must be met by the applying student in order for him or her to get it. Non-resident students can apply for financial aid, as they are eligible for the federal government funded Pell Grant but are not eligible to receive the Washington State Need Grant, which is reserved only for resident students.

Also students can apply for student loans and banks are often willing to offer them at a reasonable rate. Therefore, with so many options available, students are most likely to be willing to pursue their education with the same zest as they are now.

Referring back to the question of whether or not students will be inclined to attend Bellevue Community College after the increase in tuition fees, Mary Canan, Director of Finance at Bellevue Community College said, “Because it is such a better deal for students to attend BCC rather than universities.”

It remains a known fact that as fees tend to increase in community colleges the same happens in universities as well, almost simultaneously. Hence, community colleges by far remain much more affordable for students who are looking for a better education at a reasonable price.