JJC Board of Trustees Approves Variable Tuition for Select Programs

The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees approved variable tuition for the nursing, radiologic technology and diagnostic medical sonography programs at their Oct. 8 board meeting. 

The tuition rates for these programs will be double the standard tuition rates starting in the 2014 summer semester for radiologic technology, and the 2014 fall semester for nursing and sonography. The three programs that will begin utilizing variable tuition were chosen based upon high student demand, high employment demand, high wage upon completion and high costs to maintain the programs.

“Throughout this year we’ve carefully reviewed all aspects of variable tuition,” said President Deb Daniels. “We are doing this in a fiscally responsible way without affecting access to education.”

Other community colleges in Illinois such as Harper College and the College of DuPage already charge variable tuition rates for similar high-cost programs such as nursing, diagnostic medical imaging, dental hygiene and cardiac technology.

When variable tuition takes effect for these three programs, students starting the programs will pay double the standard tuition rate, which is currently $80 per credit hour. Students who are already in advanced semesters of the programs will continue to pay the regular tuition rate.

JJC’s nursing program is the second largest associate degree nursing program in Illinois, with 147 RN candidates in 2012. Graduates regularly exceed the state and national averages for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). In 2012, registered nursing grads (RNs) had a 96 percent passing rate, six percent above the national average and five percent above the state average. JJC practical nursing grads (PNs) did even better – with a 100 percent passing rate. The national passing rate for PNs was 84 percent, and the state’s rate was 85 percent.

Every graduate of the radiologic technology program, which started in 2008, has successfully passed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) registry examination. In 2011, 14 of the 15 students in the program were already employed by the time they graduated.

The sonography program is currently under development, and will start accepting students in the fall 2014 semester.

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