Montgomery County Community College trustees this week approved capital and operation budgets for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that begins July 1. It includes a tuition increase.
The board of trustees, at its Monday meeting, set an operating budget of $72.8 million that reflects $373,412 more from the county and no anticipated decrease in dollars from the state. The 2012-2013 fiscal year budget saw Montgomery County cut the college’s funding by $5.25 million.
The $13 per-hour tuition and $5 per credit-hour fee hikes mean that beginning in the fall 2013 semester, students will pay $153 for each credit hour or $459 for a three-credit course. The annual cost for full-time students taking 12 credits per semester will be $3,672 beginning with the fall 2013 semester.
For the 2012-2013 academic year, tuition and fees were was $135 per credit hour.
“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,” college president Karen A. Stout said in a news release. “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 said it would take numerous steps to help students cope with the cost increase, including finding more money for financial aid through greater private fund-raising.
The board approved a capital budget of $9.6 million, which includes “$1.1 million each for debt service for the transformation of the Central Campus Physical Education Building into a Health Sciences Center to house current and new high demand programs in the health sciences fields,” according to the college.
The operating budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year was $71.2 million and the capital budget was $7.8 million.
The school said that over the last decade, the amount of operating budget revenue that comes from students has risen from 36 percent to 55 percent to offset lower government funding.