CCC trustees raise tuition $4 per credit

Increase is needed to offset loss of state funds, college says

`We have to make it up'

New rates expected to generate $200,000

other moves also due

March 21, 2002|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

In a move reflecting trends of community colleges across the state, the Carroll Community College board of trustees approved last night a tuition increase of $4 per credit hour, bringing the cost to $79.

Community college officials said the increase is needed to offset a $700,000 loss in state funds.

The increase will generate about $200,000, the officials said.

To offset the rest, the college plans to transfer about $190,000 from this year's tuition revenue to the general budget and is looking for other ways to cover the gap.

Beginning this summer, the average full-time student - taking 13.5 credit hours a semester - will pay about $63 more, or $1,067 per semester, including other fees, college officials said.

Part-time students - who make up about 59 percent of the student body - will pay about $25 more a semester.

"It's still a good deal for the quality of education we get here," said Graham Suchman, 18, of Westminster, a business management major.

Tuition for out-of-county students would remain at $128 per credit hour.

The college learned in January that the state was slashing $15 million designated for community colleges.

Carroll had asked for nearly $1 million - to supplement its $14 million budget - but is to receive $180,000.

In addition, Maryland's community colleges have to accept a flat 4 percent increase in state funding, down from the 14 percent increase received this year.

"It's a tremendous cut from the state, an astronomical cut, so that it's almost impossible not to raise tuition, especially when you're experiencing growth we're experiencing," said Faye Pappalardo, Carroll Community College president.

She noted that a 15 percent increase in enrollment makes the school's rate of growth the largest among Maryland's two-year colleges.

"So if we are to continue to serve students well we have to make it up, absolutely," Pappalardo said.

About 2,500 students are enrolled at the Westminster college.

Chesapeake College, Howard Community College, Prince George's Community College and Montgomery College are expected to raise their fees by $2 to $5 a credit hour.

Alan Schuman, Carroll's executive vice president of administration, said the fall increase follows a pattern begun in 1996, when officials began raising tuition, then $53 a credit hour.

Rates have increased 3 percent to 6 percent every year, Schuman said.

"We understand the situation the state is in, but we wish we were a higher priority on their list," he said.

In other cost-trimming measures, Carroll Community College officials plan to:

Suspend pay increases for part-time teachers and cease hiring additional full-time staff.

Pare money set aside for program activities and marketing for the new fine and performing arts building.

Review travel expenses and curriculum enhancements.

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