A recent SCHEV report reveals that the cost of Virginia colleges is on the rise as well. Tuition and fees at our state four-year institutions increased by an average of 10.5% in the year 2009-10 alone. In our community colleges, costs rose by a staggering 18.1% that year. These increases are driven, in large part, by the economic collapse of the decade that has led the state to cut education funding. Of course this same crisis has wrecked havoc on family budgets as well, so that college costs are rising just as families are less and less able to afford them.
dual enrollment has become so popular. According to the latest VDOE state School Report Card, Virginia students took 23,652 dual enrollment courses in 2009-10; this is a 33 percent increase from 17,786 courses in 2007-08. Students and school divisions pay fees for these courses, but the vast majority of colleges allow very significant discounts, bringing enormous savings to Virginia's families.
The state report doesn't tell us what percent of these dual enrollment courses were CTE courses, but we know that CTE dual enrollment is significant and rising. Career and Technical educators across the state have been been making heroic efforts to develop articulation agreements with neighboring two- and four-year colleges, increase teacher qualifications, and beef up course content. In some school divisions the majority of CTE courses are now eligible for dual enrollment credit.
Many CTE students are now eligible to graduate from community college within a year after graduating from high school. A few even earn an associate's degree at the same time as their high school diploma. Community college students who transfer to a four-year college may lose some of their high school dual enrollment credits if their school's articulation agreement is not recognized by the four-year college of their choice. Even so however, the overall savings that dual enrollment brings to Virginia students and families is enormous. These savings will become even more important over the next few years as college costs continue to rise.