Board of Trustees Approves $4 Per Credit Hour Tuition Increase for Fall 2014

 The Board of Trustees approved a measure March 11 to raise the college’s tuition rate $4 per credit hour.

When the new rate takes effect in the fall 2014 semester, JJC’s per credit hour cost will be $84 tuition plus $31 in fees, totaling $115 per credit hour. The last time tuition was raised was April 2012.

JJC tuition costs currently rank near the middle when compared to other Illinois community colleges, according to data from the Illinois Community College Board.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, students received over $25 million in financial aid, nearly $14 million of which was Pell Grants, which students do not have to repay. Additionally, the college awarded almost $800,000 in scholarships to students in 2013.

JJC Student Government Secretary Perry Harlow spoke at the February 25 board workshop meeting and said that the student group was in support of the increase and willing to share the financial responsibility of the college. Harlow shared the stories of three JJC students whose live were positively impacted by their experiences joining student organizations at the college.

“I support the tuition increase because it will allow student clubs to continue, which are a vital part of the experience at JJC,” said Harlow.  “These clubs and organizations help students connect with people in the community, help students connect with potential future employers, provide community service opportunities, and give students a chance to simply meet other people with similar interests and passions.”

Kailyn Harris, a music major who currently serves as student government president, also shared her thoughts with the trustees at the February workshop.

“As student government president, I support the tuition increase because it will help ensure we can keep student clubs, and no matter what kind of student you are, student life is key to having a successful educational experience at JJC,” she said. “I would pay even $5 more per credit to maintain the experience that I am having and have personally benefited from.”

The tuition increase will help the college maintain fiscal viability in the face of declining state and tax revenue.

The funding JJC receives from the state has steadily decreased since 1999, from 18.4 percent of the college’s operating budget to 9.3 percent of its 2014 operating budget. Tax revenue accounts for 53.6 percent of the budget, and tuition accounts for 34 percent.

Acknowledging that the financial burden of the college is a shared responsibility, the college has made significant budget costs the last few years. More than $1 million was cut from the fiscal year 2013 budget, reducing travel and professional development opportunities, deferring computer replacements, reducing the marketing budget, and offering the student handbook in an online format. For the 2014 budget, the college cut approximately $500,000 in supplies, contractual services and travel funds.

 

 

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