Area high school students can take a three-credit-hour college course for just $75 at West Virginia Northern Community College under new rules for early enrollment classes that take effect in the fall 2014 semester. That’s a savings of more than $100 as stipulated under previous guidelines for West Virginia high school students.
Approval for the dramatic changes in such tuition has been given by both the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education and the state’s Higher Education Policy Commission.
“Community colleges in West Virginia traditionally carry the lowest tuition rates for students,” Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, Northern’s president, said. “Rates for early enrollment courses at the high schools, always lower than normal tuition, now have been drastically reduced even more. This makes an early start on a college career even more affordable.”
The early entrance rule approved sets the per credit hour rate at a minimum cost of $25, with final decisions on such rates left with individual institutions. State institutions have a choice of supplementing the minimum by applying their own tuition waivers from funds set aside by the colleges in their separate budgets. Supplemental funds also can come from third-party sponsors to support the student’s cost of the course.
Dr. Vicki Riley, vice president of academic affairs at Northern, said early enrollment college courses typically are available to junior and senior high school students while exceptions to that are reviewed at each institution. For high school students who have not yet taken tests required for course placement, WVNCC will allow them to take the COMPASS placement test free for the first time. ACT and SAT scores also can be used.
Janet Fike, vice president of student services at WVNCC, said, “High school students wanting to enroll in early entrance college courses are urged to get further information from their high school counselors or from West Virginia Northern’s admissions office email address firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Wheeling Campus Admissions Recruiter Dawn Barcus at 304-214-8838, Weirton Campus Counselor Lisa Soly at 304-723-7515 or New Martinsville Campus Counselor Ina Robinson at 304-510-8769.”
The state guidelines for early enrollment were designed to expand access to college, increase the college-going rate, increase student success in college and enhance college affordability.