The College Board’s “Trends in Higher Education” report found that California had the lowest community college tuition and fees in the nation for the 2013 to 2014 term.
The report also determined that many of California’s community college students don’t pay any out-of-pocket tuition at all. The College Board found that a California student who pays $5,696 in tuition and fees and graduates with a community college Associates’ Degree over two years (four semesters) should expect to earn $44,800 more over their lifetime.
Based on what is considered a full semester of 15 credit units, or five courses during 2013 to 2014, California community college tuition and fees equaled $1,424. The next cheapest state is New Mexico at $1,696. Third lowest is Texas at $2,222. The national average was $3,264 — more than double the cost in California.
The highest state tuition and fees for community college is Vermont, the second most liberal state in the nation, which charges $7,090. The next most expensive state is New Hampshire at $6,736. Third most expensive is South Dakota at $5,797.
Over the five years, from 2008-09 to 2013-14, the percentage increases in public two-year in-state tuition and fees ranged from 1% or $31 in Maine and North Dakota, to 62% or $1,375 in Georgia, to 111% or $751 in California — which still has the lowest prices in the country.
The California student who graduates with a two year community college Associates’ Degree may earn an added $44,800 of lifetime income. But after paying $8,600 in higher taxes, the California graduate would pocket $36,200 in net income over their lifetime.
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