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HCC to increase tuition

March 29, 2001

HCC to increase tuition



By TARA REILLY / tarar@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown Community College is raising tuition for the first time in three years, the school's president said.

"We haven't raised it in three years," said HCC President Norman Shea. "It was time."

The tuition increases, which affect county students, out-of-county students and out-of-state students, will go into effect for the 2001-2002 school year. Under the increases:

-- County students will pay $4 more a credit, or $74, up from $70.

-- Out-of-county students will pay $5 more, or $119, up from $114.

--Out-of-state students will pay $13 more a credit, or $156, up from $143.

It will cost about $1,110 a semester for a county student taking 15 credits.

Shea said the money the college received from the state has declined over the past few years because of falling enrollment, making it necessary to raise tuition.

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"The increase was cut in half because of an enrollment decline two years ago," Shea said.

James Latimer, a member of the HCC Board of Trustees, said the tuition increase has been approved by the board.

"All of our costs are going up," Latimer said. "In order to cover that we asked for more money from the state and asked for 6 percent from the county."

HCC's proposed fiscal 2002 budget is $16.3 million, up $942,030, or 6 percent, over fiscal 2001's $15.4 million budget.

The college is expecting $4.9 million from the state for the 2002 proposed budget, $265,879 more than it received last year. It is asking for $4.7 million from the county, up $264,951, or 6 percent, than last year.

William Reuter, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said that while the Washington County Commissioners have been supportive of HCC's finances in the past, the college would have to look at other options if it didn't receive the 6 percent increase.

"If the county were not to give us the 6 percent we requested, we would either have to cut out core programming or we would have to raise our tuition even further," Reuter said.

The Board of Trustees could adopt the budget at April's meeting.

Shea said the money from the tuition increase will go toward salary increases and technology for students, among other operating budget necessities.

"It'll be used in the general operating budget," he said.

About 2,500 students are enrolled at HCC.

Those who need assistance paying tuition can use the FACTS monthly payment plan, in addition to financial aid.

FACTS is a tuition management program that provides students with a low-cost plan for budgeting tuition and other educational expenses.

Financial aid at HCC consists of grants, loans, scholarships and employment opportunities based on need and merit.

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