No tuition increase at PBSC for sixth straight year

LAKE WORTH — Tuition at Palm Beach State College will not increase for the sixth straight year, maintaining the college’s standing as one of the most affordable higher education institutions in the state.

The PBSC District Board of Trustees approved the college’s $129.9 million general fund budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. It calls for in-state tuition and fees to remain at $101 (including $76.92 for tuition) per credit hour or $303 for a three-credit hour course.

Tuition and fees for postsecondary adult vocational program courses are fixed at $83.40 per credit hour and $2.78 per contact hour. The cost of bachelor’s degree courses, regulated by the Florida Legislature, remains at $122.85 per credit hour or $368.55 for a three-credit hour class.

“It’s good for the students this year,’’ said Richard Becker, vice president of administration and business services, in a statement.

Becker presented the budget to the trustees at their meeting July 11.

While technology and capital improvement fees rose slightly twice, and the student activity fee rose once, Palm Beach State’s tuition has remained flat for six years. To compare, in 2012-2013, students paid $98.25 per credit hour or $294.75 for a three-credit hour course.

The move by trustees helps keep the cost of a college education affordable for students and their families, which has been an initiative pushed by Gov. Rick Scott. It also comes in the midst of growing dialogue about the mounting national student loan debt, now at a reportedly $1.4 trillion.  A new state law went into effect on July 1 requiring colleges and universities to give students detailed annual reports on their federal student loan debt so they can keep track of what they owe.