Washington State Community College (WSCC) announced Monday morning they are now offering in-state tuition rates for eligible West Virginia residents.
The announcement came at a press conference with John Carey, Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The 50% tuition reduction will directly benefit residents in Brooke, Hancock, Jackson, Marshall, Ohio, Pleasants, Ritchie, Tyler, Wetzel, Wirt, and Wood counties.
“The Ohio Department of Higher Education staff has demonstrated its commitment to student success by investing in rural prosperity in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said WSCC President Dr. Vicky Wood. “This reciprocity agreement gives Washington State the opportunity to educate more local people for in-demand, livable wage positions,” she continued.
Among the students present was Shanendoah Chambers who is a West Virginia resident currently enrolled in the practical nursing program. “That was my biggest struggle coming here, paying out-of-state tuition,” she confessed. A Big Springs resident, Chambers drives about 90 minutes each way to attend classes. “For me, this help with my gas, living situation, everything. I am so excited about this that I can’t even put it into words.”
Hunter Rummer, a Parkersburg resident in the Auto/Diesel program said the reduced tuition means that he can invest his savings into tools necessary for his profession.
“We think it will be very important for us, as we build the workforce and education base that we need for all our area, including both the Ohio side and West Virginia side,” said Chancellor Carey.
Currently, Washington State student population is comprised of 167 West Virginia residents, of which nearly 65% are paying the full out-of-state tuition rate. What that means for them is they are going to go from spending $278 a credit hour to $139 a credit hour. So for the average students taking 15 credit hours per semester, they’ll see a savings of $2,085 each semester, which totals more than $8,300 over the course of earning a two-year associate degree. “They’ll be able to attend WSCC for a full year for the price they previously spent on just one semester,” explained Amanda Herb, WSCC’s Vice President of Enrollment and Student Success.
With an announcement of this magnitude, College officials anticipate significant growth in its enrollment numbers. “We are expecting to see a surge in enrollment, especially in our more sought after degree programs,” said Herb. “Our graduation and licensure rates far surpass other institutions, so for many students, the only barrier was the higher tuition, and now that’s been eliminated.”
For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.