Tuition hike might come with Carroll Community College FY17 budget

Tuition might be going up by $8 per credit hour at Carroll Community College next year.

Carroll Community College's board of trustees will vote on the college's fiscal year 2017 operating budget request at its Wednesday meeting, which is open to the public.


The college will request a total of about $32.67 million for FY17, with about $10.99 million being requested from the county. That is an increase of about 4.9 percent or $1.52 million over last year's request.

The bulk of the budget, or $25.92 million, will go toward salaries and fringe benefits, according to Carroll Community's FY17 operating budget request. The amount of funding requested for supplies and materials, and communications will be reduced, according to the request.

Much like the county public school system, student enrollment is declining at the college, which has resulted in less tuition money for the college.

Full-time student enrollment declined by 13.1 percent between FY11, when enrollment was at an all-time high, and FY15, according to a Carroll Community Dec. 16 presentation.

The college's budget is mostly comprised from three funding sources: the county, the state and students. In FY16, 41 percent of the college's revenue came from students.

In order to balance its budget, the college plans to raise tuition rates by $8, from $124 per credit hour to $132, which is a 6 percent increase, according to Alan Schuman, the college's executive vice president of administration. The college estimates that each dollar of a tuition increase will generate roughly $77,500.

"We're not getting much of an increase from the state or the county," Schuman said. "The only new dollars would go to support health care costs."

According to a history of tuition rates at Carroll Community, tuition rates have steadily increased from $37 in FY1990 to $124 in FY2016, or the current fiscal year. Last year the college increased tuition rates by $6 per credit hour.

The college's tuition rate per credit hour is currently higher than the state average of $112, though it is lower than the rate in neighboring Howard County, where the current tuition rate is $132 per credit hour.

The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the college, 1601 Washington Road in Westminster. A briefing was given to the board on the college's FY17 proposed operating budget request at its Dec. 16 meeting, so the board is not likely to enter into a dialogue about the request, Schuman said.

Should the board vote to approve the budget request, it will be sent to the county budget office and the Carroll County Board of Commissioners for their review, Schuman said, and will then dovetail into the county budget process, which runs through April. School officials will monitor the commissioners review of their request as well as Gov. Larry Hogan's state budget as it goes through the legislative process, Schuman said.