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Tuition Hike Helps Balance AACC Budget

The college's 2013 budget calls for a tuition hike and asks for additional money from the county.


(AACC) is asking the County Council for $5 million more and students to pay $240 more per semester in order to balance what trustees called a bare-bones budget.

The college’s 2013 budget was approved on Tuesday by the Board of Trustees.

Included in the $110,621,000 budget is a tuition hike that raises the credit hour cost by $16. With that increase, a full-time student taking 15 hours of courses would pay $240 more each semester.

“These are tough times,” said trustee Walter Hall.

Hall, also chair of the budget committee, said the tuition hike could be a hard pill to swallow for some students. But it was necessary in order to supplement declining funding from the county.

“We’re going to have to ask the students to make an even greater contribution than they ever have in the past,” Hall said. “That could well affect us in terms of (full-time students).”

The college’s enrollment declined this year, due in part to increases in fees, Hall said. The fee increase proposed in the newest budget is the largest in the college’s history.

Student Association President Abdul Khan spoke at the meeting, saying he believes the tuition hike might convince some students to begin considering universities. Other students who are covered by federal financial aid might not even notice the increase, he said.

Trustees are also relying on the County Council giving them $5.2 million more than last year.

AACC president Martha Smith said the college was hit by an “unanticipated” $5.2 million reduction by the council during budget talks last year. The amount they are requesting this year would restore it to 2011 levels.

To navigate that political minefield, Hall said the budget committee was counting on the support of County Executive John R. Leopold, who in the past has stood behind the college’s requested amount. But it’s ultimately up to the County Council to decide the funding level.

“We’re hoping that if (Leopold) does that, the County Council will step up to the plate and also support that,” Hall said.

Smith said there has been a noticeable decline in performance at the college as a result of the budget cutbacks from the county and stagnant state funds.

“As a result of declining state and county funding, we are now seeing signs of fraying around the edges of our performance and erosion of our mission mandates,” Smith said.

That erosion has kept the college from maintaining a competitive salary, kept students from timely visits with support services and has resulted in significant downtime for its network.

This year’s budget also reserves no funds for salary increases for employees, continuing a trend that was set in 2009.

Revenue for the 2013 budget:

  • $26,648,900—state (no change)
  • $33,822,700—county (increase of $5,266,300)
  • $45,860,000—tuition (increase of $2,523,900)

The budget was passed by a 6-1 vote, with trustee Kimberly Burns voting no. It now moves to the desk of the county executive before it will be presented to the County Council.

Amy Leahy March 01, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Calling all Maryland citizens to remember that our legislature passed the Dream Act last year….that wonderful-in your face-pay for illegal aliens to attend college on YOUR dime- piece of legislation that allows people who are ILLEGALLY in this country to get a reduced rate (in-state) tuition to attend public colleges in Maryland. And this is how the community college proposes to pay for it….by raising tuition on our students who are from tax paying families.
Bowie20715 March 01, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Yes, the legislature passed the Dream Act. According to the Washington Post, only a few hundred kids A YEAR out of more than 26K Marylanders entering our colleges annually would even qualify for the Dream Act. That's not a free ride -- it's in state tuition. It is, according to the Post, "a drop in the ocean." But you are going blame rising tuition on a bill that hasn't even been implemented? You think this all has to do with a few undocumented KIDS trying to go to college? Patently FALSE. The bill is on hold pending the referendum in the fall and given the ignorance that abounds today, the bigots and the know-nothings might win this one. Your nativism has clouded your judgment and in the process, made you look, well, kinda dumb.
W. L. March 01, 2012 at 02:13 PM
What is a free ride is that they are "ILLEGAL". They can break our laws. I think you are the one with your head in the clouds. My grandson is a drop in the ocean also, who abides by the law. How dare you call us ignorant. Let the illegals get here the way we did, the right way, then talk to me about helping them.
Ken March 01, 2012 at 04:11 PM
It says it right here in the article..."The college’s enrollment declined this year, due in part to increases in fees, Hall said. The fee increase proposed in the newest budget is the largest in the college’s history." The Dream Act still isn't in effect, but fees were raised in 2011 and again in 2012 and you say it's because of a few hundred illegals trying to go to college? Have you even read the Senate Bill 167? Students parents or LEGAL guardian must show proof they paid MD taxes for 3 years, student must have a MD HS diploma or equivalent, student must attend college no later than 4 years after receiving diploma, AND...drum roll please...student must provide an affidavit that they intend to apply for LEGAL permanent resident card within 30 days of becoming eligible to do so. Isn't that what opponents of this bill keep whining about? "They don't pay taxes" Obviously, they must to take advantage of in-state tuition. "They don't speak English" Neither do you, you speak American. Do we know how many high school graduates in this state don't speak "English"? "ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL!!" Does the application for LEGAL residency satisfy you?!! Probably not.
Legal resident taxpayer March 01, 2012 at 05:43 PM
How about this: they are ILLEGAL! volver a su país, no son bienvenidos más!!!
steve anstett March 01, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Ken makes good points about the Dream Act. Parents have been paying taxes, student has already graduated from a Maryland school, student applies for legal status within 30 days. What part of this is unfair? I completely support the Dream Act...
Ken March 01, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Thanks Steve. I definitely understand that it's a sensitive subject, but we are a civilized country and we have an obligation to be civil to one another. Any form of discrimination has no place in our society!
Barry March 01, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Is it really discrimination to not give away money to lawbreakers who are here illegally? Are you also ok with al-qaeda members coming into our country illegally?
Ken March 01, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Does Title IV of the Civil Rights act of 1964 seem confusing to you? http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/edu/types.php "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the landmark legislation prohibiting discrimination in several areas including housing, employment and education. The sections of the Act relating to education are Title IV, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin by public elementary and secondary schools and public institutions of higher learning"
steve anstett March 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM
and Barry, to me, an important component of this law is that it immediately forces the student to begin the process to become a legal citizen...
Ken March 01, 2012 at 09:39 PM
We're talking about educating kids here and your question for me is if I'm ok with illegal terrorists entering our country? You got me there! I want ZERO al-queda members, illegal or not, entering our country. I also want ZERO Timothy McVeighs.
Barry March 01, 2012 at 11:18 PM
So when members of al-queda come over here illegally we will pay for their childrens education and then make fasttrack them to be legal citizens? What could go wrong?
Barry March 01, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Ken - nothing in Title IV confuses me. Look at what I said, "Is it really discrimination to not give away money to lawbreakers who are here illegally" GIVE AWAY MONEY in terms of reduced tuition. Title IV has absolutely nothing to do with that.
Amy Leahy March 01, 2012 at 11:39 PM
What taxes are they paying Steve, since they are undocumented workers? Property taxes? Income taxes? Sales tax? I'd love to know how an illegally here - undocumented worker is paying taxes.
Amy Leahy March 01, 2012 at 11:44 PM
How many of you had to pay for your own college education? How many of you had to put off college or draw it out so that you could earn the money to complete your education? We already pay for the kids of illegally-here people to attend schools K-12 and now we are going to be required to assist them with a college education which is not a requirement for ANY parent to provide their kid. Once your kid turns 18 you are under no legal law to take care of them anymore. What suddenly makes a college education an entitlement?
Amy Leahy March 02, 2012 at 12:11 AM
And another thing, this is going to cost we the taxpayers of Maryland. The Fiscal Note for SB 167 puts it out there pretty clearly: "Beginning in fiscal 2014, local community colleges receive additional State aid under the Senator John A. Cade funding formula for each additional student who attends a college and qualifies as a Maryland resident. The increases cannot be reliably estimated but are expected to be at least $778,400 in fiscal 2014 and at least $3.5 million by 2016." That significant increase I believe will be due to Maryland's becoming a sanctuary state when and if this law goes into effect.
John Thomas March 02, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Are these undocumented parents getting fake social security numbers ?
Chet Brewer March 02, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Amy A college education is not an entitlement but an affordable college education is necessary if we aren't going to become a nation of serfs. I could earn my tuition in a state school at minimim wage or slightly more in a summer. ($200/semester 3 weeks or work or so at $2.00 and hour) vs $2000 now at AACC (7 weeks of work at $8 an hour) We are really short changing our kids by deciding higher education is only for snobs
hmj March 02, 2012 at 01:02 PM
This is the result of out of control spending by the Gov and his far left friends in the Generally Assembly. Shift the burden of wasteful spending to others. Taxes are already too high on law biding taxpayers. Just say no to those Dems that want to spend more and more on welfare programs for freeloaders and deadbeats.
steve anstett March 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM
By law, though, this will only benefit taxpayers. The only way a student can get this benefit, is if their parents have been paying taxes.
Amy Leahy March 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Steve I hate to tell you this but there is no way taxes are being paid by the parents. So that whole thing is a big fat lie. You should go to the Casa de Maryland website to find out more about that organization and how they teach Illegals to take advantage of our system. The other part of the bill says "parents or legal guardians" who pay taxes. Hence I see a loophole in the bill. How would you figure this will benefit taxpayers since we are already paying to educate the kids of illegals from K-12, we pay the cost of healthcare because no one gets turned away from an emergency room and our health department on Truman Parkway takes care of health needs for many folks and they are not allowed to ask for proof of citizenship. So when you create class of people who are getting handouts, how can that possibly benefit the taxpayer? Now if you told me society would benefit I would still argue that when you create a class of people who depend on the government's dole-outs, that is not benefitting society….and that is certainly not benefitting any group of people.
steve anstett March 02, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Amy...i understand the question, and also i am not sure how they are paying taxes...could it be that they have applied for citizenship? A process I understand could take several years? All I know is that when I read the law, it says clearly that to fit the criteria the parent or guardian has to have been paying income taxes...I know you are very active in state govt (and appreciate your passion) but to make it easy for you, here is the link: http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/chapters_noln/Ch_191_sb0167E.pdf
steve anstett March 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Not sure I understand how it can be a 'lie'? It is written right here in the law: http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/chapters_noln/Ch_191_sb0167E.pdf page 3... There are lots of folks that take advantage of our system...illegal or legal. I agree, it's wrong and we should be diligent about preventing abuse. I also agree with you that "hand outs" benefit no one. See, we have lots of common ground. Let me ask you, if a HS students family IS paying income tax, and if they apply for citizenship, and if they graduate from a Maryland HS, after living here and paying taxes for the past 3 years, don't you think it is reasonable that this student pays in-state tuition?
Ken March 02, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Barry, it's discrimination if you are unwilling to "give away" money to an illegal alien, aka non-resident alien (since they don't qualify for a 'green card' or 'substancial presence' residency test), but you already "give away" money to welfare recipients who are US Citizens. Look, if there wasn't a stipulation that they attempt to apply for residency, I wouldn't support the bill, but it does include it, so I feel better as a citizen that a kid wants to educate himself as well as take the steps to becoming a naturalized citizen. Amy, it's called an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), issued by the IRS for people who work in the US. This is why I usually research things before I make an incorrect blanket statement. http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=222209,00.html
Ken March 02, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Do you consider yourself close-minded and never give anyone the benefit of the doubt that their intentions aren't always to maim and murder, just because they're illegal? I'm not saying you are, but you certainly are coming across that way with the same tired analogy of al-queda. What could go wrong with a former US soldier who has something against his country and learns chemistry techniques that includes cow manure in an explosive?
Ken March 02, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Once again, we're commenting on an article about our local community college raising it's rates and we're off on a tangent talking about al-queda, creating a class of people, fake social security numbers, etc. It would be nice to get someone with inside knowledge of the school's budget to provide a reason for the increase.
James Freeman March 03, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Illegal aliens broke the law. Why don't you get it? Do I get a reward if a drive with a burned out tag light? I did not know it was out. I do not see how it is a safety hazard, as the ticket says. But I get a $100 fine. Why should illegal aliens who break the law be rewarded? What other criminals do you want to reward, Bowie?

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