The Metropolitan Community College Board of Trustees has approved an MCC tuition rate for high school students that is 50 percent less than standard tuition, effective for the 2018-19 school year. The action came at the trustees’ Jan. 18 meeting.

The reduced tuition rate applies to students in school districts that have agreements in place with the college. In those districts, dual-enrollment high school students will now save just as much on MCC tuition as high school students who take college classes at high school sites.

The trustees’ action is an effort to support early college initiatives in conjunction with area school districts, such as the successful Early College Academy at MCC-Penn Valley, a partnership with Kansas City Public Schools, and the new Innovation Track program at MCC-Longview, a partnership with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Both those dual-enrollment programs are designed for high school students to take college classes on an MCC campus.

For 2018-19, the tuition rate for high school students in such programs will be $51.50 per credit hour for MCC in-district residents; $91.50 per hour for out-of-district but in-state students; and $118.50 per hour for out-of-state students.

“This is a bold move toward equity,” MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said in a press release. “We want every student to have access to a higher education and the ability to change their lives. This is the mission of community colleges.”

The standard tuition rate for 2018-19, also approved by the trustees, is unchanged from the current school year: $103 per credit hour for MCC in-district residents; $183 per credit hour for out-of-district but in-state students; and $237 per credit hour for out-of-state students.