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Tuition and fees up 7.5 percent at Montco college

Montgomery County College is raising tuition and fees by $18 per credit hour or 7.5 percent.

Montgomery County Community College is increasing tuition and fees for next year by $18 per credit hour or 7.5 percent, the college announced .

Students will pay $153 per credit hour, up from $135 in the current year. A three-credit course will cost $459 and the annual cost for a full-time student with 12 credits per semester will be $3,672 or $4,590 for 15 credits per semester.

The tuition and fees were set as part of the college's budget adoption.

"This is a difficult budget for the college as we work to balance the need for student financial access with the need to offer a high quality and relevant learning environment for our students that leads to successful transfer and/or careers," President Karen A. Stout said in a prepared statement. "Even as we work to be more efficient and entrepreneurial in all that we do, the tuition increase is necessary to offset recent declines in public funding and ensure the College's financial stability into the future."

The college plans to increase its fundraising to help students who can't afford the tuition, expand its Veterans Resource Center and reduce the cost of textbooks by adding more e-books, book rentals and "open source" instructional material, the college said.

It also will expand its deferred payment plan to include summer semesters, among other efforts to ease the cost burden, the college said.