PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Over 33,000 students at Community College of Allegheny County are about to get hit with an average 9.5 percent tuition hike, starting in January.

“I’m just shocked that I’m hearing this now, and I don’t know what I’m going to do,” says Jake Kirby of Sheridan.

Students like Kirby and Amanda Aranda say they struggle enough to attend CCAC without this extra burden.

“I just bought my books and it was over $400, and I still have to buy more books, and they’re raising the credit prices,” says Aranda. “I don’t have money, so I don’t like it at all.”

CCAC officials say they had little choice because the county and state just cut $2.5 million in funding.

“Outside forces put us in a position that we had to come back and review our budget sooner than we had anticipated,” notes County Councilman William Russell Robinson who is the chair of CCAC’s Board of Trustees.

Per credit costs will rise from $87.25 to $95.50 — and for the first time a flat tuition charge of $1,432.50 will be assessed for those full-time students taking 12 to 18 credits.

Ironically, that’s a good deal for those who take 15 credits or more like Michael Milli of Ross Township.

“It definitely benefits us. It saves us about $400 a semester on tuition.”

But most will feel the increase — although Robinson says it’s still a great deal.

“We have more students here full-time than any other institution in the region, and there’s a reason. Not only are we affordable, we have very good programs, we have very good teachers.”

CCAC will be sending a letter to all its students shortly outlining what these tuition increases and fee increases are all about.

And the college will also review with students the financial aid opportunities that are available.

More Local News

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE