Sunday, February 20, 2011

Maricopa County Community College District to consider increasing tuition and fees

The Governing Board of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is meeting Tuesday night to consider increasing tuition $5 per credit hour (7.04%) and individual course fees by various amounts.  The proposed increases are due to rising costs and dwindling resources, including drastically lower state aid.

The meeting will take place at the District's office, 2411 W. 14th Street in Tempe at 6:30 p.m.

The agenda for the meeting is a "normal" one.  Most of the items on it that are "consent" items that will be approved as a bloc. 

The tuition and fee hike items are "information" items only, meaning that no final vote will be taken though there may be some discussion.  The final vote is scheduled for the Board's March 22 meeting.

The current tuition is $71 per credit hour, with a $241 per credit hour surcharge for out-of-state students.  There isn't a proposal to increase the surcharge.

The proposed increase would make the cost for a typical full-time student (30 credit hours per academic year) $2,280, with the cost for out-of-state residents $9,510 per student (tuition and surcharge).

The course fee changes are expected to impact different campuses differently, with Phoenix College and Rio Salado College experiencing the greatest net increase, while Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College expected to feel the least impact.  Actually, Scottsdale CC is expected to see a small net decrease in course fee-related revenue

The tuition increase is expected to bring in additional revenue of $12.9 million.  The course fee hikes are expected to net a total of $346K. 

The last time the Board considered a tuition hike (two years ago), it defeated the move over the urgings of students who supported a small hike to support and maintain the quality of the education provided across the district.  The Board majority at the time was led by Colleen Clark and Jerry Walker who opposed any tuition hikes as a way to force deeper cuts to the District. 

Clark as since resigned (replaced by Doyle Burke) and Jerry Walker lost his reelection bid (to Dana Saar), so I cannot predict the fate of the proposed increases.

The tuition increase item is here, its associated attachment with a schedule of current and proposed tuition and general fees is here.

The course fee changes item is here, its associated attachments are here and here.

I'll try to attend the meeting Tuesday evening, but there will be a very long meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee at the State Capitol starting a 2 p.m.-ish, and I expect to be there for the duration.  In other words, unless a LOT of bad bills are pulled from that agenda, I should be there until at least 6 or 7 p.m.  Folks interested in the MCCCD meeting should make arrangements to attend the meeting themselves or to have one of the attendees give an update.

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