Liz McCormick Published

W.Va. Higher Education Could See Tuition Increases in 2015-16 School Year


The Higher Education Policy Commission met at Shepherd University Friday to discuss tuition increases and a new reverse transfer policy.

West Virginia is one of three states that cut higher education funding in 2014 and 2015 consecutively. The others are Kentucky and Oklahoma.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission briefly discussed tuition increases in the state at Friday’s meeting.

Right now, a higher education institution can increase its tuition 5% if it so chooses, but if it wants to increase tuition and fees more than 5%, the institution must get approval from the HEPC.

West Virginia University, West Virginia State, and Potomac State have requested a tuition increase of more than 5%. If approved, it would take effect in the 2015-2016 school year.

HEPC Chairman, Bruce Berry says one of the easiest ways for those schools to offset the loss of state revenue is to increase tuition and fees.

“So they’re placing the burden then on the student and or the student’s family,” Berry noted, “Makes it quite difficult for those individuals, especially from low-income families, to attend college.”

The commission will make a final decision on the tuition increase at a special meeting on June 22 in Charleston.

The HEPC also unanimously approved a reverse transfer policy that facilitates degree completion. The rule allows students who have transferred from a community college to a four-year institution, before receiving their associate degree, to be awarded an associate degree from the two-year college after earning enough credits while pursuing his or her bachelor’s degree.