Nutritional facts: A slice of tuition

Posted on 01 October 2015 by admin

Factors that affect the cost of tuition

Illustration by Marissa Diercks

Illustration by Marissa Diercks

Staff Writer

Every fall, spring and summer, students stand in line at the Business Office and pay their tuition before moving along to purchasing textbooks and attending classes. Tuition is a necessary element of attending school, but what many students may not know is that they can provide input on how tuition is determined.

The cost of tuition is determined by several factors and any changes in fees must filter through an extensive process, said Jill Houghton, STLCC coordinator of the college budget.

“Changes in maintenance, technology and college activity fees from students, staff and faculty are collected in two ways,” Houghton said. “First, changes in these fees are brought before the college’s governance councils. The governance councils consist of an institutional affairs council and an academic council.”

These councils exist on a district level as well as a campus level. Institutional affairs council include students as active members who have a say in how tuition is determined.

“Second, students (who are not part of the councils), staff, faculty and the public have an opportunity to provide input on maintenance and other fees at monthly Board of Trustees meetings,” Houghton said.

During the monthly Board of Trustees meeting, there is a period at the beginning of each meeting where the public is allowed to comment on topics that are on the agenda. The public is also allowed to make comments on topics that are not part of the agenda after the meeting. Having a time when the public can make comments on tuition cost gives the Board of Trustees a better sense of localism, said Houghton. This allows the board members to hear firsthand ideas from community members.

The Board of Trustees take account of economic factors when determining costs of tuition. These factors change over the years but some of them include the overall wealth of the college, regional and national economy and competition with other community colleges.

At STLCC, tuition is separated into four categories: district residents, other Missouri residents, out-of-state residents and international students. To be considered a district student, one has to live in an area that includes the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and portions of Franklin and Jefferson counties. Each of these categories have different price ranges.

For 2015 fall semester, district resident students receive the lowest price of $103 per credit hour and other Missouri residents have the second lowest cost of $149 per credit hour. out-of-state residents can attend classes for $205 per credit hour. International students who attend classes pay $215 per credit hour.

Senior citizens who are district residents receive a 50 percent discount plus any additional course fees.


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