MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Tuition at Potomac State College in Keyser will drop $418 for in-coming fall semester students because the West Virginia University Board of Governors agreed Tuesday to participate in the West Virginia Invests Grant program, or free community college bill.

The program, passed by the state lawmakers, contributes state dollars for certain degrees and certification programs based on employers’ needs after all forms of financial aid have been used up.

“This allows students who are eligible to take advantage,” WVU spokesman John Bolt said of the board’s action.

Because of the board’s move, tuition will be $4,118 annually for all schools that offer degrees and programs in the fields covered by the program. Eligible programs include agriculture, such as animal science and horticulture; business and economics, which includes economics and business technology; computer information systems; criminal justice; engineering, including aerospace, biometric, civil industrial, electrical and mechanical; journalism, including advertising and public relations; and technical studies.

The program requires funding recipients to select an eligible major and perform community service for each semester they are enrolled. Recipients must also take drug tests and agree to stay in West Virginia two years after receiving their degrees.

Potomac State, in Mineral County 90 miles from Morgantown, has an enrollment of around 2,000 and has been an integrated division of WVU since 2005. Many of the students attend school for two years at Potomac and then transfer to the main campus.

In other business, the board went into an hour-long executive session to discuss legal and personnel matters. When they returned, the board passed 2019-2020 fees related to new freshman apartment rates at University Park.

In the residence halls, a single room will run $3,657 a semester, an increase of $107; double room, $2,915, an increase of $85 and a triple room, $2,765, an increase of $81. A quad room will run $2,603, up $76.

The cost of a suite in the residence halls also increased by roughly 3%. A single suite is $3,657, up $107; double suite, $3,103, up $90; triple suite, $3,072, up $89, and a quad suite, $3,047, up $89.

A single suite at Summit will be $3,761, up $110, while a double suite is $3,192, up $93. In Stalmaker Hall, a single room with a private or shared bathroom will be $3,842, up $112, while a double suite is $3,265, up $95.

Rates for Lincoln Hall; single room with a shared bath, $3,842, up $112; single suite with private bath, $3,842, up $112 and a double suite, $3,683, up $107.

Single suites in Honors Hall will be $3,899, up $114; while double suites will run $3,736, up $109. Double suites in Oakland Hall are $4,178, up $121. Seneca Hall rates are $4,752 for a double suite, up $138; $4,509 for a triple suite, up $131, and $4,349 for a quad suite, up $126.

New for fall is the University Park Freshman Resident Experience. Cost for a double suite is $5,002, while a quad suite runs $4,599.

The board also approved spending $1.35 million for the demolition of space in the Market at Health Science Center. The space, which once held Panini Pete’s, will now house a Chick-fil-A. The project is expected to be completed by fall.

And finally, the board approved Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design to lease 112 acres of land in Reedsville during the six-month growing season. In lieu of rent, the land owner will receive farm operations.

Story by Suzanne Elliot, Dominion Post