The Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition $10 per credit hour at their March 8 meeting. The increase will take effect in the fall 2016 semester, bringing the total for tuition and fees from $115 per credit hour to $125.
At the new rate of $125 per credit hour, JJC is still in the lower half of community colleges in the state of Illinois in terms of per credit hour cost.
At the meeting, student trustee Saleh Ruman said that after being presented with the facts, JJC students, including student government, were in favor of the tuition increase. “I want to confirm students’ support of the increase,” he said. ”We did a survey of 100 students, and a majority of them supported it.”
The tuition increase will allow the college to invest in strategic student outreach, critical goals in the college’s Title III grant, operating costs at the City Center Campus, and critical student support positions.
In addition, the increase will help the college maintain fiscal viability in the face of uncertain state funding and declining tax revenue. The funding JJC receives from the state has steadily decreased since 1999.
The last time the college raised tuition was for the fall 2014 semester, and prior to that, for the fall 2012 semester.
“We are grateful for the support of our students and our board of trustees in this investment in our students’ future,” said JJC President Dr. Debra Daniels. “Funding the rising costs of higher education is a shared burden, and we will remain dedicated, as always, to not only being diligent stewards of taxpayer funds, but providing students with financial aid and scholarship support. Over the last few years, JJC has made significant expense reductions through cost-saving initiatives, vacant position reallocation, and expense reduction in the Early Childhood Center, Fitness Center and Renaissance Center programs.”
Additionally, between fiscal years 2010-2015, the college reduced operating costs by more than $2 million, with ongoing savings of $1.3 million per year.
Last year, JJC students were awarded $848,000 in scholarships from the JJC Foundation, and in fiscal year 2014-2015, the financial aid office disbursed nearly $22 million in grants and loans to students.