College to start tuition fee for dual enrollment

Published 6:38 pm Friday, December 20, 2019

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By Frederic Lee

The Smithfield Times


Camp Community College will implement a tuition fee next year that could increase high school dual enrollment costs by roughly $50,000 a year or more for the Isle of Wight County school division annually.

There is currently, no tuition fee, according to school division officials.

Beginning next year, the community college will charge the school division fees that amount to $23.65 per credit hour, according to Susan Goetz, Isle of Wight County School’s executive director of curriculum and instruction.

Isle of Wight County Schools will now be responsible for that money, and it’s possible that parents of dual enrollment students may have to pick up the cost, according to Isle of Wight County Schools Spokesperson Lynn Briggs.

If the fee were to be applied to parents of students, the cost could create a barrier for students from low-income families, according to school division officials.

On the tuition fees, CCC President Daniel Lufkin said in an email that, while the state funds part of the dual enrollment costs, 57 percent of actual costs for the community college go unfunded.

The real cost to the community college for a dual enrollment program is about $80 per credit hour, and subtracting the state contribution from this amount leaves a minimum of $45 per credit hour unfunded, said Lufkin.

Camp cannot continue to operate dual enrollment without tuition to help offset this difference,” he said.

Years ago, there used to be parent fees associated with dual enrollment, according to Briggs, but once the fees were eliminated, the dual enrollment program became more popular.

Dual enrollment classes range from three to six credit hours, and if those fees had been applied in the 2019-2020 school year, the cost would have amounted to $49,310.25, according to Goetz.

School Board Chairperson Vicky Hulick referred to the new fees as “a slap in the face” from the community college, and said that it didn’t seem fair that the community college was implementing an excessive fee out of nowhere without an in-depth breakdown of costs.

Further, Hulick likened the community college’s actions to those of a monopoly since the school division isn’t allowed to partner with other state community colleges for dual enrollment.

Dual enrollment is a term that refers to students who take college-level classes while in high school, through the school division’s partnership with a regional community college.

The Virginia Community College System policy states that no community college shall offer courses or services outside its assigned service region without express agreement of the president of the community college in the affected location.

Since division staff is trying to expand the dual enrollment program, those fees would only get higher if the courses become more popular with students, said Isle of Wight County Schools Superintendent Jim Thornton.

Thornton has mentioned multiple times over the past year that new fees may be coming in terms of dual enrollment, but division staff got the official word during towards the end of November, according to Goetz.

The division pays for the dual enrollment teachers at Smithfield and Windsor high schools and covers the cost of the textbooks, according to Briggs, adding that the community college approves dual enrollment class syllabi and provides transcripts for dual enrollment students.

According to Lufkin, the new fees will apply to all private and public schools that Paul D. Camp Community College partners with to provide dual enrollment, which includes Isle of Wight Academy.

Costs for the community college include tutoring, the cost for library and technology resources and state-mandated curriculum evaluations, advising and enrollment support, plus other costs, said Lufkin.

FREDERIC LEE is a staff writer at The Smithfield Times. Contact him at