Tuition set to increase starting summer term

Graphic by Jonathan Villagomez

Clackamas Community College’s Board of Education voted to raise in-state tuition by $5 for the 2020-2021 school year at its March 11 meeting.

Where tuition was previously $103 per credit hour, it will be $108 per credit starting in summer term. The cost of a typical four-credit class will be $432, compared to the previous year’s $412. A student taking 12 credits will pay $1,296, an extra $60 per term in tuition. Keep in mind that doesn’t include the cost of any fees, or any textbooks. 

Specific fees will also be increased:

The general student fee will increase from $2.50 per credit to $3.00 per credit, and the college service fee will increase from $28 per term to $30. 

The cost of taking classes at Clackamas has doubled in the past 20 years. One credit was $40 per credit in 2001-2002. Because of the extenuating circumstances caused by Covid-19, the college is facing budget issues.  

According to Vice President of College Services Alissa Mahar in a May 15 College Council meeting, “Right now enrollment for spring is down 31.4%, which is significant. And so we’re going to be closely monitoring that. We’re hoping that in the future, we’ll see a rebound in enrollment, but we don’t know how the market will behave with this recession compared to the last recession back in 07-08.”

There are currently no indicators that say whether tuition will be raised higher for coming school years, but it’s certainly not off the table. 

“We are considering everything right now as we go forward, we know that things are going to be changing on a weekly if not daily basis.”

Board of Education member Rob Wheeler spoke in a phone interview, “Enrollments down this term quite a bit. And that doesn’t help school, right. You need to keep people employed. And if there isn’t enough students out there to keep the folks employed, you may ultimately have to lay people off and then that’s certainly a concern.”