Carroll CC proposes tuition increase in early budget proposal

Carroll Community College has proposed a $5 per-credit-hour tuition increase for students as part its early fiscal year 2015 operating budget request.

In a presentation to the college's Board of Trustees Wednesday, Executive Vice President of Administration Alan Schuman said the college will request the tuition increase due to expected lower enrollment, increased employee health care costs, increased funding for the nursing program, and the creation of two new positions.

The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss and vote on the proposed $31.1 million budget Dec. 11 before it is forwarded to the Board of Carroll County Commissioners.

If approved, Carroll students would pay $118 per credit hour beginning next fall, a four percent increase from the current $113 per credit hour rate. A full-time student taking about 14 credits could expect to pay $83 more per semester, while a part-time student taking about six credits could expect to pay $39 more per semester.

Tuition at Carroll has risen each year since the 2010-11 school year when tuition was $99 per credit.

Although the college's enrollment is still near historic highs, Schuman said enrollment this year is expected to be seven percent lower than last year and the college is projecting another one percent decrease next year.

Tuition revenue is the largest funding provider for the college, representing about 43 percent of the budget.

In addition to an expected 10 percent increase in health care costs, the college is now required to pay more for its nursing program as 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 sull-time counselor.

The college is requesting the sociology position since 85 percent of its current sociology courses are taught by adjunct faculty. The counselor position has been requested due to a state law that requires schools create a customized academic plan for students so that they graduate in a reasonable time frame.

The college is projecting a three percent increase in both county and state funding for fiscal 2015.

The proposed $31.1 million budget represents a $300,000 increase from the fiscal year 2014 budget, which Schuman said is a "significantly less" increase than in previous years.

No salary increase for staff is included in the budget.

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