Heartland Community College is considering a possible tuition and fees increase starting next fall.
The college is currently operating in a deficit, and expects to do so again next year.
The suggested increase is $5 per credit hour, Vice President of Business Services Doug Minter said Tuesday at a board meeting. But he said the college will first seek feedback from students and staff.
“Then we take all that and wrap that into our grand budget picture and try to arrive at a recommendation that everybody, students and staff, believe is reasonable, and bring that to the board for action,” Minter said.
Students are asked to consider the quality of education they receive and past tuition and fee rates when estimating a fair increase, he explained.
Heartland’s current tuition and fees rate per credit hour is $153.
Minter said a $1 per credit hour increase would generate an additional $100,000 in revenue, based on a 100,000 credit enrollment per year.
“The preliminary estimate is $5 at this point in time, based on our strategic budget plan,” he said.
A $5 per credit hour increase means an estimated $500,000 revenue boost.
Preliminary spring enrollment numbers show the college is 1 percent behind previous estimates at just over 43,500 credits. Those numbers could change before becoming finalized next month, but a 1 percent enrollment decline would result in a $200,000 loss in revenue.
Additional Budgetary Implications
Salary and benefits of Heartland faculty and staff make up for over 70 percent of its expenditures.
Salary is based on contractual increases, but a 1 percent salary variance holds a $200,000 price tag.
Minter said benefits are expected to increase by 4 percent each year. That means for every percentage increased, that’s an additional $30,000 in expenditures.
The President’s Task Force
The Board also announced a newly formed task force aimed at revenue sources, reserve uses, and capital planning.
The President’s Task Force consists of faculty, students, and two Board of Trustee members.
Its first report isn’t due until September, but Minter said the task force will also focus on the college’s biennial technology and capital funding report at the end of this year.
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