Tuesday, July 14, 2015

WBEZ: Tuition increases approved for Chicago's City Colleges

Been hearing about this but have yet to read into it until now.
The cost of community college is going up in Chicago—especially for students who attend part-time.

City Colleges of Chicago is moving away from a pay-by-credit system to one that classifies students as full- or part-time or charges them $599 for a single course.

The flat-rate pricing would increase tuition on average by $225, but could be more for some students and less for others. The new prices go into effect this fall.

The Board of Trustees for the City Colleges of Chicago unanimously approved the changes on Thursday morning. Students and faculty were told about the new tuition amounts in an email late Tuesday, drawing criticism from the few who people signed up to speak.
Forgot to mention this article was published on July 8th and updated July 9th. The City Colleges Chancellor further commented:
Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, also a former City Colleges student, said the financial burden is not lost on her. But she blamed Springfield for the uncertainty.

“When fall registration opened in April, we still did not have clarity on state funding plans, so we could not finalize, nor communicate a tuition change,” Hyman said in her opening remarks. She did not take questions from reporters after the meeting.

The new rates will be: $1,753 for full-time students; $1,069 for part-time students; and $599 for a single course. The prices are still competitive compared to four-year universities and are still cheaper than if a Chicago resident were to attend a community college elsewhere. But compared to the cost of resident-tuition at other community colleges in the Chicago-area, the price is on par or now higher.

“Even with this new plan, we still remain the lowest cost community college option for Chicagoans,” Hyman said.

Hyman said the new “flat-price” tuition is designed to encourage students “The new flat-price tuition structure is designed to encourage full-time status and faster completion for students,” City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman said in a statement.

The email sent to students and faculty said that, based on the current average costs, the changes would mean students taking 15 credits would save $91 per semester, but for those taking 12 credits the cost would go up $286.

>Part-time students take the biggest hit. Based on average costs, the email estimated a student taking two classes would pay $384 more. The cost of a single course doubles from around $300 per class to $599. A spokeswoman for City Colleges said 45 percent of students are considered part-time, 15 percent take just one course at a time, and 40 percent are full-time.
Could this be beneficial to the city colleges? Would the students be best served by this new policy?

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