MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's about to get more expensive to take classes at Alabama's two-year colleges. Wednesday, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) board of trustees voted to raise the cost of each credit hour by $10.
The hike will mean the average cost of tuition and fees at one of the state's community colleges will cost $153 per credit hour. The ACCS pointed out that the amount is still less than half the average per credit cost at the state's four-year public institutions.
What will the additional money go toward? The board says half will go to each college, which can use it for upgrades, renovations, and construction projects, among other things. The other half will be used for statewide college support to advance the establishment of a unified system.
In addition to the tuition hike, the board voted to greenlight a five-year contract with Ellucian, a software and services provider that will install a single enterprise resource planning solution for the system statewide.
The upgraded system will allow every student unprecedented access to information including registration, financial aid, grades, or even progress towards degrees or certifications, all from their mobile device.
"Our efforts today will do more to change the impact and long-term stability of Alabama's community colleges than any other action we've taken as a board of trustees," Blake McAnally, ACCS trustee and chair of the board's Audit and Finance Committee, said. "Alabama's landscape is changing and it's not enough for us to simply catch up, we must stay a step ahead and be innovative to ensure we're making data-driven decisions that deliver a workforce that has the education and skills required for the future."
The tuition hike goes into effect for every college starting in the fall. The ERP solution should start in the summer and be complete by 2021.