Clark State Community College has saved full-time students thousands of dollars in tuition cost over the last three years.
The school announced that about $265,000 has been saved by students because of the college’s Tuition Challenge Program. The program’s goal is to award students who go to school full-time and are successful.
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“It’s an incredible savings,” said Nina Wiley, Clark State’s dean of student engagement and support services. “The savings come to students based on their academic success and motivates them to register at least full time.”
The program offers a 5 percent tuition reduction to students enrolled in a minimum of 12 course credit hours and a 10 percent tuition reduction to students enrolled in 15 or more course credit hours and meeting eligibility requirements. The discounts do not apply to out of state students.
“The program began in the summer of 2015,” Wiley said. “We understand the cost that students face and so as a college we instituted the tuition college program to reduce that cost for students while encouraging them to complete credit hours.”
Fall semester of this year students have saved about $28,000, according to the school, and 145 students are receiving a 5 percent tuition reduction and 58 students are receiving a 10 percent tuition reduction.
Wiley said the discounts can have a major impact on the success of students.
“We are looking for different ways to reduce cost and lessen financial barriers for our students,” she said.
Wiley said she’s seen some students save thousands of dollars because their hard work makes them eligible for the discount more than once.
Clark State serves more than 6,000 students, many who live in Clark and Champaign counties, and the school has an economic impact of $161 million for Champaign, Clark, Logan and Greene counties, according to school data.
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The college is a major employer directly supporting about 1,500 jobs in the area and indirectly supporting about another 425 full-time jobs, according to data from the school.
The tuition program started around the same time the college began a new focus on graduating students which has seen major success. In the 2013-2014 school year, 436 students left the school with an associates degree. This summer, 581 students left with degrees.
Because of the success of its students in the classroom, state funding for the local community college in 2019 will be $14.6 million, according to data from the school. That’s more than the $4.5 million the school got in 2013, according to the same data.
The average age of a student at Clark State is about 27 years old.