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Aid, Scholarships Should Help Temper Tuition Increase
The Board of Regents for Higher Education approved January 19 a slight tuition increase for the four Connecticut State Universities and 12 Connecticut Community Colleges. The 3.1% increase will cost each community college student an extra $108 for the 2012-13 academic year.
According to Three Rivers Community College President Grace S. Jones, while the increase will negatively impact some students, she is confident the college will be able to mitigate the hardship by drawing on both internal and external resources.
“Fifteen percent of our tuition costs are marked for state financial aid,” Jones said. “If we increase those costs, we’ll also be increasing our state financial aid.”
Another way the college will continue to support students is through the Three Rivers College Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the college. The Foundation annually offers scholarships and awards to students, based on merit and need.
“In 2011, the Foundation provided scholarships and awards of close to $36,000,” Jones said. “We are always looking to grow that number. Our local benefactors like Norwich Public Utilities and Liberty Bank help us in that, and we are always hopeful to bring in more community support.”
Ultimately, Jones said, “with every dollar we ask our students to pay more, there’s concern that we may be limiting access to higher education. That goes directly against our mission. But the tuition cost for an in-state student who wants to earn a 2-year Associate’s Degree is still under $7,000. That’s a good deal, comparatively. We’ll continue to strive to keep it that way.”
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