Harford Community College students would see tuition rise $12 per credit hour under the school's proposed operating budget for next year, while Carroll Community College wants to raise tuition $5 per credit hour.
Officials at the Harford school said they need to close a structural deficit and to offset flat state and county funding. Their proposed $47.8 million operating budget was given to the members of the HCC Board of Trustees at their most recent monthly meeting on Dec. 10.
The proposed budget includes an increase of about $800,000, or 2 percent compared to this year's spending level of $47 million, but the tuition increase amounts to a 7.6 percent increase for county residents who attend HCC.
The $12 increase would raise the tuition per credit hour for Harford County residents from $92 to $104, with similar increases for out-of-county and out-of-state students to $191 and $278 per credit hour, respectively.
If approved, the tuition increase will be the fourth since 2010.
In Carroll, the community college Board of Trustees approved a $31.1 million operating budget on Wednesday and sent it to the Board of County Commissioners for final approval. Under the plan, tuition would rise to $118 per credit hour and has risen each year since 2010.
Officials expect that trend to continue. College President Faye Pappalardo said that "there is no fat in this college" to trim for budget savings.
Executive vice president for administration Alan Schuman said the college will request the tuition increase because of expected lower enrollment, increased employee health care costs, increased funding for the nursing program, and the creation of two new positions.
In addition to an expected 10 percent increase in health care costs, the college is now required to pay more for its nursing program since grant funding for the program has ended.
Carroll is also proposing the creation of two new positions, including a full-time sociology instructor and a full-time counselor.
In Harford, college officials are planning a 2 percent pay increase for full and part-time employees and to add three full-time positions, including a nursing and allied health faculty position.
Rick Johnson, vice president for finance and operations, stressed that the budget numbers presented for December are subject to change, based on the county and state funding picture. The new budget itself won't take effect until next July.
"We will adjust our numbers once again in June if the county number is different than what we projected," he said.