The Board of Trustees approved the $4 tuition increase at the board meeting last Thursday, Feb. 21.
According to Associate Vice President of Academic Planning Joe Collins, the big reason for raising the tuition was to contribute to the raises that all of the college’s would be receiving this year.
Since the Board approved the increase in pay by 3.15 percent, according to union negotiations, the college had to find other ways to meet the approval.
Collins said that the lowest amount the college could raise tuition was three percent since the most they could get from taxpayers was an increase of four percent.
All increases added to $3.5 million for all employees with a majority coming from taxpayers.
“It’s not unusual for community colleges to be raising their tuition right now,” Collins said.
The college has continued to have a tuition increase for more than thirteen years and since 2009, it has increased tuition by approximately $12.
“The reason is that the expenses for running a college continue to go up,” Collins said. “[And] one big driver is employee’s salaries.”
The college has more than 1,300 adjunct faculty members and that’s not nearly as close to the number of full time faculty.
“If we kept tuition flat, we’d have to give no raises or we’d have to lay people off or we would have to not do things like upgrading our buildings and facilities,” Collins said.
According to Collins, if the college followed the path of schools like Elgin Community College, and how they didn’t raise tuition until a few years later, student’s would expect a huge spike in tuition increase instead of a gradual hike.
“What you could do is you could not raise tuition for two or three years and then have a really big raise, but I think what that does is it unfairly impacts the students that happen to be there when you have the tuition increase,” Collins said. “So if you did a small raise like four dollars every year then it kind of spreads it out.”
The $4 tuition increase will take affect during the start of fall semester 2013.