The Legislature is considering a bill that would create a pilot program and allow participating schools to charge college and university students by the credit hour, as opposed to the current system of a per semester tuition rate.

James Skidmore, West Virginia Chancellor for Community and Technical Education, says the change would make tuition directly reflect classes taken.

“If you’re taking additional hours, then some think a student should pay for those additional hours because they’re actually getting the education,” Skidmore said.  He has not yet taken an official stand on the proposal.

Right now in West Virginia, a student is considered a full time college student when he or she takes at least 12 credit hours each semester.  State numbers show most students, though, take an average of 15 credit hours each semester to graduate on schedule.

With the pilot program, each credit would come with an individual charge, so a student taking 21 credit hours a semester would pay more for tuition than a student taking 12 credit hours.

According to a higher education report, the change could mean an average tuition increase of $1,400 per semester for students taking 15 credit hours at four year institutions and an average of $300 more per semester for those attending community and technical colleges.

Skidmore says the change would potentially generate millions of additional dollars for many of the institutions that have been forced to make budget cuts because of directives from the state this year.

“There are advantages and disadvantages to it,” Skidmore said of the idea on Monday’s MetroNews Talkline.  “It allows us to have some flexibility in delivering our programs, but we’re always concerned when students are paying more money.”

The pilot program legislation, which would require participating schools to meet certain criteria, is now being considered on the Senate floor.  SB 508 is scheduled to be taken up on second reading, meaning possible amendments, on Tuesday.

bubble graphic


bubble graphic


  • C.Hoffman

    I catergorize the students that take more than 12 credits per semester as enterprising. They attempt to get the most bang for their tuition dollar and now will be penalized. There is no incentive to achieve and it's mandated. Government does what it does best - Distort and penalize innovation. Get government out of education.

  • RedGal

    This will have a devastating effect on many students, who due to the availability of certain classes required, have no choice but to schedule more than 12hours. I have two college students, and I'm a single mom who struggles as it is to assist them with tuition and expenses, and this will only make things more difficult.

  • Gem-digger

    Okay! Someone has really put the cart in front of the horse. Students in order to qualify for the PROMISE funds have to have 30 hours per year. PROMISE doesn't even cover tuition now like it was designed. So, if you charge more for anything over 12 hours per semester then the gap for PROMISE and actual costs are going to increase. So if you want to graduate on time (4 years) with your 120 hours, the schools are going to charge more for what they are supposed to be doing anyway.
    My son recently enrolled at college and due to the schedule of how professors teach classes, he had no choice but to only take 14 hours in the fall and 16 in the spring.
    And to think we let a groundhog predict the weather and yet the lawmakers should be the state bird = ostrich.

  • jethro

    a college education is priceless, the cost of is also out of price, thats what you get when the government starts funding it or giving loans toward it , the price goess up .

  • MrJ

    On the contrary, there is a world waiting for our children and it is our duty as parents to encourage and support the furthering of their education. Through no fault of education, and unfortunately for most, that world may be outside of our state's borders. When it comes to the financial cost of a college education we need to resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bath water.

    A college education overpriced? Hardly. Try a dead-end job--maximum hours, minimum wage, no hope for advancement, no prospects for a future. Critics can rationalize not getting a college degree in any myriad of ways, just don't expect the rest of the world to go along.

    Thankfully, I was brought up by parents who wanted better for their children. I in turn have raised my children in the same fashion. To do otherwise is doing a disservice to them.

    To those who support acquiring education no explanation is needed, to those who don't no explanation will suffice. To acknowledge the reward and value of education are part and parcel of the cultural change we need to see in our state.

    It begins with each one of us.

  • Sean

    It doesn't really matter. You can't do anything in this state with or without education. West Virginia is the 3rd world.

  • Woodchuck0

    Just double or triple fees and kill education. Just another govt agency out to hurt the people.

    A good education used to be the way up in the world. Now it is just a way to get into debt and go down hill.

    What are the statistics now ... Every 10 cents of each dollar goes directly toward education. The other 90 cents goes toward admin, political action, research, sports, flowers, etc.

    Don't worry the Internet is offering some great education for free... So when the typical students begin leaving in droves the over paid admin can thank the high prices and lack of focus on the customer...the student

  • derek

    It's obvious that our elected officials care nothing for the citizens of this state especially at a time when there is high unemployment and everywhere we turn they are wanting to raise taxes on about everything under the son from tobacco and fuel just to name a few. When will it be enough?

  • jethro

    unbelievable! college is way overpriced anyway! just another means to get people in debt then to graduate with no jobs. i say cut tuition and cut all those administrative jobs that are sucking the life out of our kids futures!