By Ashley Barker
Published May 21, 2014
Tuition at Trident Technical College is increasing by 3.1% beginning in the fall.
For residents in the college’s local service area — Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties — per-credit-hour tuition will increase from $159.06 to $163. The registration fee will also increase from $14.42 to $15.
For local students taking a full-time course load, which is at least 12 credit hours, the total tuition and required fees will increase from $1,911.14 to $1,971. Out-of-county students will pay $2,185.08, which is $66.34 more; out-of-state students will be charged $3,717.24 per semester for a full course load, up from $3,604.46 for tuition and fees.
Trident’s Area Commission unanimously approved the tuition increase Tuesday night after receiving a recommendation from the state Senate Finance Committee chairman to increase tuition by no more than 3.2%.
The commission also considered a recommendation made by the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, which bases its decision on the prior year’s Historical Summary of Higher Education Price Index.
“In an informal survey of my peers, most of the colleges in the technical college system are expecting to go up in about that same range,” said Scott Poelker, vice president for finance and administration at Trident Tech.
The college will maintain its policy to not charge extra if a student takes 13, 14 or 15 hours in a semester than it would if the student took 12 hours, the minimum to be considered full-time.
“We say we offer two-year degrees. If you’re going to get a two-year degree for most of our majors, you need to take 15 hours,” Trident Tech President Mary Thornley said. “We don’t want to charge you extra if you’re taking what you would have to take to finish your degree in two years.”
Students who take 16 credit hours or more in a semester will be charged for those hours the same way that 12 or fewer hours would be charged.
“Most of our comrades in the other technical colleges do charge for that 13th, 14th and 15th hour,” Thornley said. “It makes sense to me that at that 16th credit hour, now we start charging you for it.”
Last May, the commission also approved a 3% increase in tuition and fees, which became effective in the fall 2013 semester.
Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.