Per-credit cost at HCC to jump $8 College looking for more funds to aid students


Beginning July 1, the cost of a credit hour at Howard Community College will increase by $8, from $58 to $66, under a plan adopted by the college trustees.

Originally, the trustees had proposed a $5 increase per credit hour, but cuts in anticipated county and state funding forced them to revise their calculations, said Randy Bengfort, an HCC spokesman.

Based on projections by the college's financial aid office, students will require an additional $100,000 in aid because of the tuition increase, Mr. Bengfort said.

The college is currently exploring ways to provide the extra funding, he said.

In its budget request to County Executive Charles I. Ecker, HCC asked for an increase of $990,400 in county funds as part of the school's $21 million budget.

Mr. Ecker proposed a $600,000 increase, bringing the county's contribution to the HCC budget to $8.4 million, Mr. Bengfort said.

A large portion of this money will go toward paying teachers' Social Security taxes as required by a new state law.

Previously the taxes were paid by the state.

HCC will lose about $11,000 in state funding because of a redistribution of state money to community colleges, Mr. Bengfort said.

After trimming $130,000 from HCC's budget, the college still faced a $210,000 shortfall and was forced to raise tuition, Mr. Bengfort said.

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