WVNCC among most affordable colleges

WHEELING – West Virginia Northern Community College, with campuses in Wheeling, Weirton and New Martinsville, continues to be one of the most affordable colleges in America, according to statistics compiled by the federal government.

For the second year in a row, WVNCC made the national College Affordability and Transparency Center list compiled by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System used by the U.S. Department of Education. While Northern was on the list as being a public, two-year institution of higher learning with the lowest net prices, the list also provides data for the most expensive institutions of higher learning in the country. The 2013 list was made public late last month.

Martin J. Olshinsky, president of Northern, lauded the WVNCC Board of Governors for its long-time efforts in controlling tuition costs.

“We’ve known for some time that we are leaders in affordability in the state and the Upper Ohio Valley. It’s gratifying for Northern to be also recognized nationally in such a positive light,” he added.

The 2013 list provides information on institutions with the highest tuition and highest net price and the lowest tuition and lowest net price. Two other West Virginia institutions were cited among the lowest net price, including Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Bridgemont Community and Technical College.

According to Janet Fike, vice president of student services at Northern, the lists are generated with the following criteria: Tuition, which includes the tuition and required fees as reported to IPEDS by the institution, and net price, including the cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid as reported to and calculated by IPEDS.

The list for Lowest Net Prices has 98 institutions, with WVNCC listed at number 89 with a net price of $3,414.

Fike said the average net price is the average price of attendance that is paid by full-time, undergraduate, degree-seeking students after grants and scholarships are taken into account.

“This ranking for Northern shows conclusively that WVNCC has excellent processes that help our students with financial aid, grants and scholarships,” Fike said.