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Some UC students to see tuition hike next fall

Kenny Kemp
Student who come to the University of Charleston's main campus on the banks of the Kanawha River next fall will pay $23,000 to go to school there, UC officials announced Monday.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- University of Charleston students who are undergraduates at the school's Charleston campus will see an increase in tuition next fall, according to university officials.

UC President Ed Welch said returning students will see a tuition increase of $1,000 per year. Freshmen and sophomores currently pay $19,500 per year, and tuition for juniors is $25,500, UC spokesman Scott Castleman said.

Incoming UC Charleston freshmen will pay $23,000 next fall, an increase of $3,500 over the rate freshmen paid this fall.

The university is trying help some students with the tuition increase by adding about $1 million to institutional financial aid, Welch said.

"We want to be able to reward those who have merit, because of their academic ability musical ability or athletic ability and to assist those who need assistance," he said.

Welch cited new programs, improvements to technology and increased health-care costs as reasons for the tuition hike.

The university also expanded regionally, Castleman said, taking over the former Mountain State University's Beckley and Martinsburg campuses in January. The Higher Learning Commission revoked MSU's accreditation in 2012 following years of problems in leadership, program quality and campuswide communication.

Students at those Beckley and Martinsburg campuses will not see an increase and will continue using a pay-per-credit cost structure. Tuition for online, military and graduate students will remain the same, Castleman said.

This is the first tuition hike the university has put in place in two years, he said. The last tuition increase for new students was for the 2010-2011 school year, when costs increased from $24,000 to $25,000.

Tuition was lowered for freshmen enrolled in the 2012-2013 school year from $25,000 to $19,500. It was then frozen for the 2013-2014 school year, according to Castleman.

Despite the increase, UC-Charleston's tuition is about $7,000 below the national average for private schools, according to a College Board report on college pricing earlier this year.

Staff writer Mackenzie Mays contributed to this report. Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.molenda@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.


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