ECC is the most affordable two-year college in the state. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Education which also found that ECC’s net price of $2,949 over two semesters is also the 59th lowest of any community college in the nation.
“The low net price at ECC reflects our commitment to low tuition and the effectiveness of our financial aid office,” said Dr. Douglas Walcerz, Director of Research & Assessment at the College. He added the net price is the total amount an average student pays after subtracting scholarships and grants received.
In compiling the data, the U.S. Department of Education used cost analysis from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The statistics are for the Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 school year. It is based on the cost of tuition, required fees, books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board. The national net price of a community college is $6,711, according to the education department.
A major reason ECC has been able to keep its total cost low is due to its decision to hold tuition at the 2010-2011 rate. “This decision was based on our students’ success and will continue to offer a top-quality education at an extremely affordable price for our students and to the communities we serve,” said Interim President Gale E. Gibson.
ECC’s in-county tuition, exclusive of fees, has been stable at $108.50 per credit hour since the 2010-2011 academic year. Essex is one of only two out of 19 community colleges in New Jersey that has not raised tuition since 2011.
The low cost also reflects the increasing popularity at the College of digital e-books. A recent national survey ranked the College’s e-books the most affordable out of 1,500 colleges and universities measured. The survey was conducted by Akademos, Inc., which used its Textbook Affordability index to rank institutions according to the affordability of their course material by subject and among so-called peer schools.