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.

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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