WESTMINSTER — Carroll Community College students will pay $9 more per credit hour -- a 30 percent increase in tuition -- beginning in January.
The Baltimore County Community Colleges board of trustees raised tuition Wednesday from $39 to $48 per credit hour at its four colleges -- Dundalk, Essex, Catonsville and Carroll -- and implemented a registrationfee of $5 per semester for all students and a $20 per course fee forsenior citizens.
The additional revenue is needed to offset cuts of $7.9 million in state aid to the colleges, trustees say. For CCC, which operates asa branch of Catonsville, the cuts mean trimming $412,000 from its $5.3 million budget.
Furloughs for professors and other staff are under consideration, said Alan D. Schuman, CCC's director of administration.
"Now that we know the amount of tuition and fees, we're evaluating our own (spending) reductions," he said. "The outstanding issue of how we will respond to furloughs remains to be seen. No final decision has been made yet."
Calling the tuition increase "extremelypainful," board chairman John Q. Kluttz III told students, faculty and staff at the Dundalk meeting that "this is the hardest thing I've had to do."
The board's finance committee initially recommended an$11 per credit tuition increase. Concerned that an $11 boost might be too much of a burden for students, the board opted for a $9 tuitionincrease, Schuman said.
Also raised were tuition fees for out-of-county and out-of-state students. Out-of-county tuition will increasefrom $74 to $91 per credit, and out-of-state tuition will rise from $123 to $151 per credit.
"It doesn't affect very many students here," Schuman said. "About 98 percent of our students are from Carroll or Baltimore counties and are charged in-county rates."
For CCC, the tuition increase will raise about $153,000 this fiscal year, whichends June 30, he said. The other fees combined will raise about $20,500, he said.
Students previously paid a one-time $10 registrationfee when they initially enrolled at CCC. They will now pay a registration fee of $5 per semester.
Senior citizens currently do not paycourse or tuition fees at the community colleges. Schuman said college officials are evaluating whether seniors should be charged fees for non-credit courses as well.
In other cost-cutting measures, Schuman said the college, which opened its Washington Road campus last fall, will curb spending on supplies and equipment, limit travel, reduce maintenance agreements on equipment, and implement a hiring freeze,although exceptions will be made on a "case-by-case basis."
"At this point, the impacts are not as severe as they might have been," Schuman said. "That's mostly because the county didn't require us to return any additional funds from their contribution."
Unlike other county agencies, CCC was not asked to trim its budget by 2 percent to make up for a loss in state aid to the county. Schuman said the commissioners were responsive to the impact of state cuts to CCC.
"We've been able to absorb cuts from the state without a severe impact," Schuman said. "But the worst is not necessarily over."