July 14, 2024

As tuition rates increase, two-year colleges provide affordable alternative

This archived article was written by: R. Jensen

With the Board of Regents’ March approval of an average 10 percent increase in tuition and fees for Utah’s nine public colleges and universities, college bound students and their parents may want to consider junior colleges as an affordable alternative of higher education.
Tuition and fees continue to soar, leaving many students and their parents scrambling to find the money needed to pay for a college degree.
According to the information released by the Board of Regents, students attending the University of Utah 2004-05, can expect to pay $4,000 in tuition and $636 in fees for two semesters of 15 credit hours.
Students attending Utah Valley State College, next year’s most affordable four-year institution, can expect to pay $2,788 in tuition and $416 in fees.
Public four-year institutions, sandwiched between the high and low, in descending order of cost, are: Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Weber State University.
Enter Utah’s junior colleges: Salt Lake Community College, Snow College, College of Eastern Utah and Dixie State College.
Junior colleges provide students with the first two years of general education credits required to earn a bachelor’s degree.
If college choices are dependent upon parents’ pocketbooks, parents will pay nearly half the cost of tuition and fees by sending their son or daughter to a junior college for two years.
For example, students at SLCC will pay $2,175 in tuition and $342 in fees, nearly half the cost of attending one year at the University of Utah.
CEU and Dixie State students will pay $1,848 in tuition, $344 in fees; $1,883 tuition, $361, respectively.
Snow College in comparison is the most affordable junior college, with $1,793 tuition, $300 fees.
“With the continued escalation of educational costs, the day is not far away when access to a higher education in Utah will be severely impacted. CEU is committed to hold down costs as much as possible.
“What the figures don’t show is that with the tuition cost for 12 credit hours and 19 hours being the same at CEU, students taking more credit hours still have a lower cost per credit hour than anywhere in the state system,” stated Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Student Services, Brad King.
As the cost of higher education rises annually, prospective and current students and their parents will be looking at long-term goals with pocketbooks in hand. Junior colleges can meet those goals with family budgets in mind.
The Brass Tacks of Higher Education, 2004-05 (Two years of 15 semester credits each)

		Tuition	Fees
U of U		$4,000	$636
USU		$3,246	$523
SUU		$3,055	$466
WSU		$2,875	$532
UVSC		$2,788	$416
SLCC		$2,175	$342
Dixie State	$1,883	$361
CEU		$1,848	$344
Snow College	$1,793	$300