CCC seeks higher tuition, more county funding

December 08, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

A tuition increase of $4 per credit hour and a request for another $196,658 from county government could be erased from Carroll Community College's 1994-1995 budget proposal, if the college gets the state money officials say it deserves.

The college's board of trustees got its first look at the $7.8 million budget proposal this week and last night met for a workshop with administrators.

The tuition could go from the current $48 to $52 per credit hour, which would still be below the state average of $53, said Alan Schuman, vice president for administration. The state average is expected to go up next year because several other community colleges are also planning an increase, he said.

"We feel it is a manageable amount, compared to other community colleges," Mr. Schuman said. Carroll's tuition was last raised 18 months ago, said President Joseph F. Shields.

The decision will be up to the board, which could vote on the budget at its meeting Dec. 15 and submit it to county government by the end of this month.

Still in draft form, the proposal is to increase the entire college budget by 9.5 percent next year, compared with $7 million for 1993-1994. A breakdown shows the college seeking 7 percent more from the county, 8.8 percent more in tuition and fees, and 14.4 percent more from the state.

But that state increase doesn't count $900,000 that Carroll officials say the college should get based strictly on the formula the state uses to pay other colleges of its size. Carroll had not asked for the money before last year because it was then part of Catonsville Community College and got reimbursed at the rate for larger colleges.

Since gaining independence in July, the college should have been subject to the formula for smaller colleges that reimburses at a higher rate, officials say. The reasoning is that smaller colleges must spend more in overhead costs per student than do larger ones.

Although Carroll tried to get the money for the current year, it got only about $250,000 because of state budget cuts. This year, the Maryland Higher Education Commission is proposing that the state fill the gap and pay Carroll and other colleges their fair share.

Del. Richard N. Dixon, a Carroll Democrat, said he believes the prospects are better this year for Carroll because state officials are predicting more revenue will be available.

If the college gets the $900,000, staff will not recommend seeking any more county money than last year, nor any tuition increase, Mr. Schuman said

The budget proposal also could change depending on whether the board of trustees and county commissioners approve and pay for a cost-of-living increase for the staff.

Mr. Schuman said that traditionally, the college has put only step raises into the initial budget proposal. Later in the spring, as the county commissioners negotiate pay raises with their own staff and the Board of Education staff, the college staff typically gets the same rate of increase, he said.

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