Howard Co. residents to pay 4.1% more for HCC College trustees vote to increase tuition by 2nd summer session

April 23, 1996|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,SUN STAFF

Howard Community College trustees have voted to raise tuition 4.1 percent for county residents in a move the college's student government leader said was needed to help the school keep pace with technology.

Beginning the second summer session, tuition will rise to $76 a credit from $73 a credit for county residents, with the maximum tuition rising to $1,140 per semester from $1,095 per semester.

Maryland students living outside Howard County will pay $6 more per credit, or $123. The rate for students living outside the state will rise to $175 a credit from $150 a credit.

HCC has the highest tuition among community colleges in Maryland, and ranks second behind Prince George's Community College in total student costs, which also include required fees, the Maryland Higher Education Commission said.

But Suzy McDonald, president of the HCC Student Government Association, said she was not bothered by the increases because she believes the college is spending its resources wisely.

"This is a top-notch college, and we realize the money has to come from somewhere," said Ms. McDonald. "We have up-to-date technology, and to have that type of technology, it's got to be paid for."

Ms. McDonald said the college has responded to the concerns of its 5,000 students and this semester has made its facilities more convenient by extending the hours for its library and computer lab for students.

The tuition increases were included in the $31.6 million total budget approved Saturday for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The budget will rise 6.9 percent over the $29.5 million total for the current fiscal year.

HCC trimmed $115,000 from its budget request after receiving less than it requested from the county. The trustees agreed to save money by reducing proposed salary increases to part-time faculty. HCC President Dwight Burrill said that although the school's tuition remains higher than at any other community college in the state, it is well below the cost of four-year institutions.

Under the budget approved Saturday, the college will get 31 percent of its revenue from the county and 15 percent from the state. Dr. Burrill said the state may pick up a larger portion of the school's costs in the future. He told board members he was encouraged that a new funding formula recently approved by the General Assembly would provide more state money to community colleges.

He said the new formula, which narrows the gap between state funding of two-year colleges and four-year state institutions, will provide an extra $15,768 to HCC this year and could pour an additional $500,000 a year into its coffers within a few years.

Dr. Burrill said the change comes at a time when the college is experiencing a slowdown in the growth of county revenue. "This will take a lot of pressure off the counties in the next few years and shift the balance." He said state money eventually could account for one-third of the college's budget.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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