Community college board to consider in-state tuition hike - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Community college board to consider in-state tuition hike

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Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:48 am | Updated: 7:03 pm, Wed Feb 16, 2011.

Proposals to increase in-state tuition and change fees will be heard next week by the governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District.

District leadership is suggesting a $5 per credit hour increase, bringing in-state tuition to $76 or $228 for a three-hour class. The increase would add $12.9 million in revenue.

If approved during a meeting next month, it would mark the first tuition increase in two years.

“That would still be dramatically below what you could get an education for anywhere else in Maricopa County,” said district spokesman Tom Gariepy.

There is no proposal to increase out-of-state student tuition, which is now $241 per credit hour. But the plan includes consolidating out-of-state surcharges or fees.

According to the agenda, changes are needed as the district faces increased retirement costs and health insurance for employees, as well as additional budget cuts from the state.

MCCCD’s current operating budget is $655 million, of which $45.3 million comes from the state. Tuition and local taxes make up much of the rest of the budget.

With Gov. Jan Brewer’s budget proposal, the state’s $45.3 million allotment would be slashed to $6.9 million in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Board member Doyle Burke said he understands the proposed increase given the budget and student growth. Revenue is needed or programs may need to be cut, he said.

“Enrollment is up about 10 percent. We’re in a situation where we need to make a decision about open access,” Burke said. “The board has not discussed it yet, but I won’t be surprised if we have a tuition increase next year.”

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