“All of our 22 sponsoring school districts have faced a range of financial issues,” said Dr. Edna Baehre, president of HACC. “Unfunded mandates and rising costs have hit them hard and they are looking at every line item - including the money they pay for residents to attend HACC.”
Under the new arrangement, contributions from the school districts are frozen at last year’s level for the next five years. That provides the 22 participating districts with a more predictable cost for budgeting purposes and gives them some budgetary relief. The rate will be re-negotiated at the end of that five-year period.
In return, students from those districts will continue to receive a substantial discount from HACC’s regular tuition.
“As result of the agreement, students from the participating districts will bear more of the cost of their own education - but still will receive a discount of more than 90 percent from the rate paid by non-sponsored residents,” Baehre said.
Tuition rates for students from sponsoring districts - starting with the second summer session (Summer II) in July - will be $92.50 per credit hour, up from $83 per credit hour. Pennsylvania residents who are not from a participating school district will pay $171 per credit hour, up from $166 per credit hour.
“HACC is still one of the best bargains in education,” Baehre said. On average, a student receiving an associate degree can expect to earn 40 percent more than a high school graduate. That amounts to more than $141 in additional annual earnings for every credit hour completed. The investment pays for itself very quickly.”
Baehre noted that - as always - the college offers a wide range of financial aid options to help make a HACC education more accessible.
“Our financial aid professionals can help students tap into a variety of state and federal grant and loan programs as well as a wide range of scholarships,” she said.
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, has nearly 19 thousand students at its five campuses in Central Pennsylvania. In addition, the college offers a wide variety - including complete degree programs - online through its virtual campus.