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State, county funds to determine HCC tuition

March 17, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown Community College students will see tuition increase in the fall; the question is by how much, President Guy Altieri said Tuesday afternoon after a meeting of HCC officials and the Washington County Commissioners.

How much tuition goes up will depend on how much money HCC gets from the state and county governments, Altieri said.

HCC officials are asking the county government for $5,222,377, or $295,606 more than the county contributed to HCC's operating budget this fiscal year, said Debra Bastian, the county's director of budget and finance.

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"There are challenges every year and there are a lot of hard decisions to make. We're going to try to do the best we can," Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said at the meeting in HCC's College Center.

The County Commissioners are tentatively scheduled to hold a public hearing about the proposed county budget at 7 p.m. on May 4 at HCC's Kepler Theater, county officials said. The proposed budget is for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

While the decision to raise tuition is up to HCC's Board of Trustees, Altieri said he anticipates a 5 percent to 6 percent increase for the fall semester. The request for $5.2 million from the county takes into account a 6 percent tuition increase, he said.

Tuition is $81 per credit hour for students who live in the county, $130 for students who live in Maryland but outside the county and $171 for students who live outside Maryland, HCC officials said.

If tuition were increased 6 percent, the rates would go up to $86 per credit hour for in-county residents, $138 for out-of-county residents and $181 for out-of-state residents, said Anna Barker, dean of administration and finance.

Altieri said the tuition increase should enable HCC officials to maintain programs and add classes to meet demand.

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