ECC tuition to rise after 4-year freeze
For the first time in four years, it will cost more to attend Elgin Community College.
As promised, the college’s board of trustees voted this week to raise tuition for students who live within the college district’s borders, from the current rate of $91 per credit hour to $99 per credit hour.
The change will take effect for the summer 2011 term, which begins May 31, 2011.
ECC’s in-district tuition has been frozen at $91 since summer 2007, with college officials pointing to the depressed economy as a reason to keep tuition low.
Officials believe the steady tuition rate was one factor driving large enrollment increases in recent years, making ECC one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the country at one point.
The college says the increase will pay for operations and maintenance of new facilities, including a multipurpose building and an academic library, that are being built with funds from a 2009 ballot measure.
“Over the past four years, tens of thousands of ECC students have been fortunate to pay the same tuition rate,” ECC President David Sam said in a statement. “Even with this increase, ECC is still affordable compared to other institutions.”
Here’s a sampling of per-credit-hour tuition at area community colleges, not including fees: College of DuPage, $99; McHenry County College, $82; College of Lake County, $81; Harper College, $98.50.
ECC voters in April approved $178 million in bonds to complete the first phase of a 30-year master plan. College officials said shortly thereafter that tuition would have to rise each year for three to four years, starting in 2011, to staff and maintain the new facilities.
Tuition rose from $43 per credit hour in the 1998-99 school year to $91 per credit hour, the current rate, by 2007.
The Multipurpose Classroom Building opened in December 2010; the rest of the buildings are set to be completed in December 2011.
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