Today, Valencia College trustees agreed to hold tuition for associate-degree classes at its current level for next fall. At $99.06 per credit hour for Florida residents, Valencia’s tuition and fees are the lowest among Central Florida’s state colleges, including Seminole State College and Polk and Brevard community colleges, and are about half the cost of a state university.
While Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a tuition increase for Florida colleges on Monday, Valencia’s board could still have raised tuition on its own by up to 10.5 percent to make up for years when the college had not raised tuition as much as it was allowed.
“I want to compliment the staff and the administration on doing something that’s really remarkable: holding the line on costs and still achieving remarkable results,” said vice chair Lew Oliver.
Last year, Valencia leaders also declined to raise tuition although authorized to do so by the Florida Legislature.
“The college will never be cheaper than right now,” said Valencia President Sandy Shugart, who encouraged students to enroll in the fall because a tuition increase is likely for next year.
Bachelor’s level tuition will increase slightly—less than 25 cents per credit hour—under an automatic increase for inflation, mandated by state law. Current Florida resident tuition for bachelor’s degree classes is $113.64 per credit hour. Twenty-one students graduated this May from the bachelor’s programs in Radiologic and Imaging Sciences, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology.
Valencia educates more than 60,000 students a year at six campuses and centers in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties. It was named the top community college in the nation for 2011-2012 by the Aspen Institute, a Washington educational- and policy-studies center. A panel of judges selected Valencia for the inaugural Aspen Prize based on the strength of its graduation and transfer rates, especially among minority students, as well as the high job placement rates of its workforce training programs.