CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Community colleges across the country are plagued with tight budgets.
Coastal Bend College President Dr. Justin Hoggard said it has been over a decade since they’ve raised tuition. He said starting the 2023-2024 academic year, they’re increasing tuition to help with student resources.
“Whether you go to CBC Pleasanton, Alice, Beeville, or Kingsville, there was a $4 per hour increase. Dual credit saw a $5 per credit hour increase,” Dr. Hoggard said.
If you are a full-time student at Coastal Bend College taking 15 credit hours, the $4 increase per hour equals $60, which for some, could go a long way.
Students Alex Benavides and Comfort Teke both attend Coastal Bend College, and they receive some type of financial aid assistance. They said the $4 increase is not a big problem.
“Knowing CBC’S prices, I think it’s not as bad as many people may think it is,” Benavides said.
“It’s not that big of an increase, it’s $4. I use like $4 almost like every day to get like food and stuff,” Teke said.
Dr. Hoggard said during the Fall of 2020, there was about an 18% decline in enrollment at CBC due to the pandemic.
According to research done by the Association of the Community Colleges Trustees, prior to COVID-19, household incomes in rural areas were 20% lower than those in non-rural areas.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the gap has widened, impacting small businesses, agriculture, and rural communities.
Dr. Hoggard said after looking back over a decade at tuition with the CBC Board of Trustees, they looked at the needs of the college and determined an increase in financial aid was necessary.
“Because it is for them. We are meeting the requests for the students,” Dr. Hoggard said.
“It’s just $4. It’s going to help the students, and I think it’s for a good cause,” Teke said.
Dr. Hoggard said with this tuition increase, the college can provide students with the resources they need to succeed, such as having a social worker on campus, a health clinic, and a Writing Center.
“You can’t be mad at the fact they are trying to help the students as a whole. You know, any school that does that, you are going to appreciate that,” Benavides said.
“And when you think health initiatives, mental health, and having a clinic here on campus, that’s huge, that’s really huge,” Dr. Hoggard said.
Dr. Hoggard also mentioned students can apply for additional scholarships through CBC by clicking here.