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WVNCC Ranked One of Most Affordable Colleges in America

Posted 07/20/12

As part of the federal government’s efforts to inform the public about the costs of college, data released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Education has revealed that West Virginia Northern Community College is listed among 100 public two-year institutions with the lowest net price of attendance in the country.

“West Virginia Northern and its board of governors have endeavored for a long time to offer extremely reasonable tuition and fee rates to our students,” Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, president, said. “This data confirms our efforts have placed us among the most affordable colleges in America, in the state and in the Upper Ohio Valley.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education, West Virginia Northern is listed as part of the 10 per cent of the nation’s institutions with the lowest average net price. The national average net price is $6,485 annually while WVNCC’s average net price is $3,094 an academic year. A total of 1,878 institutions were included in the lists compiled by the federal government which also included the top highest cost institutions.

Janet Fike, Northern’s vice president of student services/director of financial aid, explained the average net price is the average price of attendance that is paid by fulltime, undergraduate, degree-seeking students after grants and scholarships are taken into account. The average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state and local government or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the cost of attendance. Total cost of attendance is the sum of published in-state tuition and required fees, books and supplies and, if applicable, the weighted average for room and board and other expenses.

Fike said, “The ranking for WVNCC shows that Northern excels at helping students with financial aid, grants and scholarships.

“The state of West Virginia has three public, two-year institutions on the lowest net price list while Pennsylvania has two and the state of Ohio has none,” Fike pointed out. “West Virginia’s community college educators deserve commendation for their commitment to affordability.”

The U.S. Department of Education announced it released several College Affordability and Transparency Lists as part of its effort to help students make informed decisions about their choice for higher education. “These lists are a helpful tool for students and families as they determine what college or university is the best fit for them,” according to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We hope this information will encourage schools to continue their efforts to make the costs of college more transparent so students make informed decisions and aren’t saddled with unmanageable debt.”

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 called for the College Affordability and Transparency Lists to be created by July 1 of this year. Under the requirements, six lists were created. Three lists focus on tuition and fees, and three others look at the institution’s “average net price.” Each list was broken out into nine different sectors to allow students to compare costs at similar types of institutions.