College proposes tuition increase


Carroll Community College has proposed an operating budget of $18.5 million for the next fiscal year that calls for a 4.5 percent tuition increase, college officials said yesterday.

The proposed budget - a $1.2 million increase over this year's - was presented this week to the college's board of trustees. If approved, it would be the 11th straight year of tuition increases at the college.

The tuition increase would become effective in June.

"We think the tuition increase, while it's something we don't like to do, is a reasonable increase given the education that our students get here," said Alan Schuman, the college's executive vice president of administration.

Schuman said the proposed 6.9 percent increase in the operating budget "reflects the funding level we believe is necessary to continue to provide the quality education that we're now offering."

The proposed budget includes $5.2 million in state funding, an increase of $411,000 over the current year's allocation.

"One of the uncertain elements of the budget is whether we'll actually receive the state dollars," Schuman said.

"The 4.5 percent tuition increase would have been less if state funding from previous years had actually been received," he said. "As result of that money not being in our base, we have to increase tuition dollars as we grow."

He said college officials do not anticipate increasing tuition beyond the proposed additional $4 per credit hour, and they would cut other budget items if state funding falls short.

The $4 increase would raise tuition to $92 per credit hour.

The average full-time student, with a course load of 13.4 credit hours, would pay an additional $62 more in tuition and fees per semester. Full-time tuition and fees for the semester would total $1,418.

The average part-time student carries a course load of 5.5 credit hours and would see a $25 increase in tuition and fees per semester. Part-time tuition and fees for the semester would be $592.

Higher rates unchanged

Out-of-county tuition of $128 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition of $195 per credit hour would remain unchanged.

The college's proposed budget anticipates an allocation of $5.5 million from the county, Schuman said.

It also includes $7.3 million that would come from tuition and fees. The tuition increase would generate about $280,000 of the college's proposed budget, Schuman said.

During two of the past three years - fiscal years 2003 and 2004 - Carroll Community College received $1.2 million less from the state than it was expecting, based on a funding formula used in previous years, Schuman said.

The state formula allocates funds to colleges based on enrollment.

Enrollment increase

The college has 11,879 part-time, full-time and noncredit students. College officials are projecting a 5 percent increase in enrollment next year.

The college is expecting to receive $411,000 more from the state this year based on the funding formula and has included it in its budget, Schuman said, "but there is discussion at the state level that they will not be able to honor that."

"It remains a very real possibility that we may have to reduce the budget by all or some of that $411,000, if the state is unable to provide those resources," he said.

He said the college should have some idea of how much it may receive from the state when the governor submits his budget to the legislature next month.

The $1.2 million increase in the proposed operating budget includes $130,000 for additional part-time faculty positions, $91,000 for additional full-time faculty, and $166,000 for additional support staff, he said.

Tech upgrades

The increase also includes $70,000 in upgrades to the blackboard student technology program, an Internet-based system that allows instructors to communicate with students.

The proposed budget also includes $633,000 to cover current salaries and benefits, such as health insurance.

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