Tuition will go up sharply next fall for more than 35,000 students at the five Northern Virginia Community College campuses, and at 22 other state-supported community colleges throughout Virginia.
Under a new fee schedule approved Thursday by the state's Board of Community Colleges, costs for Virginia resident students will rise by 45 percent while costs for nonresident students--including the dependents of military personnel--will rise by a whopping 83 percent.
"In the past we've had 15, 20 percent increases, but 45 percent is the largest percentage increase we've ever had," said James Bradley, assistant for public relations to NVCC's president.
As a result of the action, the full-time annual cost for a Virginia resident taking 12 or more credit hours will rise from $384 to $588 while the comparable cost for nonresidents will rise from $1,284 to $2,346.
The cost per credit-hour for a part-time resident student will rise from $10.75 to $15.50 and for a nonresident will rise from $36 to $65.
James H. Hinson, state chancellor of community colleges, said the General Assembly decreed this year that the share of operating costs coming from tuitions should rise from 20 to 23.6 percent, with tax revenues supporting the balance.
The lawmakers also required that there should be no subsidy for out-of-state students, resulting in the greater rise for nonresidents. About 3,900 of the 35,000 NVCC students would be affected.
NVCC spokesman Bradley speculated that there will be a falloff in nonresident enrollment, notably at the Alexandria and Woodbridge campuses where a significantly high proportion of students are dependents of military parents claiming legal residency elsewhere. Other campuses are at Annandale, Loudoun and Manassas.