TCC’s tuition policy change makes dual enrollment more equitable  

In a move that will expand access to equitable educational opportunities for high school students in the region, Tarrant County College has restructured the tuition policy for its dual credit enrollment program.

Recently approved by the TCC Board of Trustees, the single tuition rate of $64 per credit hour for all students, regardless of zip code, will help the College build goodwill and better partnerships with ISD partners as they grow their programs and work to earn additional funds by demonstrating College Career Military Readiness (CCMR) goals.

Under the policy, the new single-tier dual credit tuition only applies when students are enrolled in a dual credit program with a partner ISD, charter or private school; and, when students register for courses on their school’s approved dual credit path.

Among current partnerships, the following districts are expected to be the most positively affected by this new tuition policy:

  • Northwest, Mansfield and Arlington ISDs, which have the largest percentage of out-of-county enrollments by semester hour; and,
  • Three of TCC’s largest dual enrollment ISDs — Mansfield, Fort Worth and Arlington — all of which have the largest out-of-state and out-of-county impact in dollars.

TCC leaders believe there are potential partnerships opportunities with nearby Azle, Aledo, Burleson and Joshua ISDs.

Currently, TCC is supporting 23 Early College High Schools and P-TECHs throughout Tarrant County. Dual-enrolled students represented 14 percent of TCC’s student population in fall 2019 and that number is expected to grow. Statewide, dual credit enrollments represented 10 percent of higher education enrollment in fall 2017.

As dual credit continues to grow in Texas, it exposes a gap in equity for historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and students from low income families. Only 37 percent of students enrolled in dual credit classes in 2017 self-identified as being from low-income backgrounds.

Prior to the move, dual credit students paid tuition based on their home address, which continued to widen the equity gap for students who attended an in-county ISD but live outside Tarrant County or recently moved into the district. As a result, higher out-of-district and out-of-state tuition rates may have prohibited self-pay students from enrolling. Schools that sponsored their students had to choose between sending one student at the higher rate or two or more at the lower rate.

Studies have shown that students who earn dual credit while in high school graduate high school at a higher rate as well as the statewide four-year rate for dual credit students at 41 percent, compared to 27 percent for non-dual credit students. The six-year graduation rate for dual credit students was 69 percent.

This initiative was recommended by the interdisciplinary High School Principle workgroup – one of eight Principle teams at TCC. Under the leadership of TCC Southeast President Bill Coppola, this team is responsible for building and maintaining strong P-20 partnerships is essential for the student pathways to success. The dual enrollment (Early College High schools) and dual credit partnerships with local ISDs support student transition to college.

To learn more about TCC’s dual credit program, visit