Among West Virginia's community and technical colleges, the average tuition increase was around 8.1 percent -- the highest was 15 percent and the lowest was 0, at Bluefield State College, which elected to leave tuition at its current level.
That amounts to an average increase of $234 across the entire community and technical college system.
Three institutions were able to account for the reduction in state appropriations through tuition increases, said James Skidmore, chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College Council. The others will continue to evaluate their financial status.
Delegate Brady Paxton questioned the impact these tuition increases could have on financial aid, particularly student loans.
"Are we pricing students out of going to college?" he asked Skidmore.
Skidmore answered that there is, in fact, a "problem in community colleges."
"But we're addressing it," he said. "We understand that there is a problem and we understand that students need loans to go to college, but we also understand that we need to keep down our loan default rates ... and we're working on that."
Skidmore said officials would, in coming months and years, examine data for a correlation between tuition increases and student loan rates and default rates.
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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