Last Thursday, March 15, the Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to raise tuition.
Rates across the board will be going up starting in the fall semester of 2012, including:
- An added $10 student fee totaling $59 a semester.
- An additional $1.50 tech fee totaling $10 per contact hour.
- A $3.50 raise in in-district tuition totaling $94.50 per hour.
- A $7.00 increase in out of district tuition totaling $184 per hour.
- A $10.00 raise in out of state tuition totaling $268 per hour.
- An added $22 program fee for programs offered at the college such as nursing
According to Kirk Kramer, Vice President of Administrative Services, tuition rates are being raised in lieu of a $2,000,000 budgetary shortfall the college is experiencing this year.
Funding for SC4 has traditionally come from three separate sources: the state of Michigan, property taxes in the city of Port Huron, and student tuition fees all contribute to fund the college.
According to the Senate Fiscal Agency however, recent years have brought a heavy decrease in funding from the state, which has dropped its funding level 12.4%, from 33% in the year 2000, to 20.6% in 2011.
Likewise, The Senate Fiscal Agency also saw funding from property taxes in the city of Port Huron decrease by 3.9%, from 35.5% to 31.6%, leaving the students of SC4 to compensate.
Student Eliza Wilton, 19, Marysville, said she feels as though tuition raises are “obviously not good for the students, obviously the economy isn’t very good, (and) some of us have to pay for it ourselves, it’s hard as is it. However, I know that if they need money, they have to do something for themselves as an institution.”
Wilton added that a major benefit to attending a community college is low tuition prices.
Fellow student Matt Wesley, 19, St. Clair, agreed with Wilton adding “some of the larger universities, are almost out of control” in respect to their tuition prices.
In Thursday’s briefing, Kramer explained that while revenue has managed to remain at a steady point, expenditures for the school have continued to rise.
Kramer added that while Governor Snyder has recommended a 3% merit based increase, if approved, it would still leave funding for the college well below the ideal 33% level that SC4 once enjoyed.