WCCC-St. Vincent credit transfer to cut cost for some students
The cost of earning a degree at St. Vincent College dropped significantly for some Western Pennsylvania students on Wednesday.
With the stroke of a pen, St. Vincent President Brother Norman Hipps and Westmoreland County Community College President Daniel Obara signed an agreement allowing students in three programs to transfer from WCCC to St. Vincent without losing any credits.
WCCC students who complete an associate's degree in business, psychology, or criminology, law and society can now transfer to St. Vincent with junior standing to finish their bachelor's degrees.
That means students could pay WCCC's $90 per-credit rate for their first two years of coursework rather than St. Vincent's $892 per-credit fee. The agreement is effective beginning with the spring 2013 semester.
“Given the kind of challenges our students and families face with increasing costs in higher education, having an articulation agreement becomes very important,” Hipps said.
Transfer students are eligible to apply for up to $15,000 in merit scholarships from St. Vincent in addition to need-based aid for which they qualify, officials said.
An agreement on a fourth program, pre-chiropractic, is in the works, said John Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs at St. Vincent.
“You want to have a four-year plan that gets you from point A to point B where point B is walking across the stage (at graduation),” Smetanka said.
Twenty-two students transferred from WCCC to St. Vincent during the 2011-12 academic year, said Anna Marie Palatella, a WCCC spokeswoman.
“In Westmoreland County, we're fortunate to have a rich diversity of colleges and universities,” Obara said. “All these institutions collaborate with each other. We're not in competition.”
WCCC has transfer agreements in place with dozens of schools, but some are on a less formal, course-by-course basis. The college has formal articulation agreements, such as the ones initiated with St. Vincent, with 25 other schools.
The agreements can offer students significant savings during their first few years of classes.
Tuition for a 15-credit semester at WCCC costs $1,350 compared to about $14,000 per semester at St. Vincent, Seton Hill or Duquesne universities. A semester of tuition at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg costs $5,985, while tuition at state universities such as Indiana University of Pennsylvania and California University of Pennsylvania is about $3,200 per semester.
Room, board and various fees are not included in the tuition costs.
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Kari Andren to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.