Tuition and fees at Atlantic Cape Community College will increase 6 percent, or about $220 per year for full-time students taking 30 credits in 2013-14.
The college Board of Trustees approved the tuition increase Tuesday night, along with a fiscal year 2014 budget that remains about the same as this year at $41.7 million.
Starting with the summer semester, students will pay $108 per credit for tuition and $23.85 per credit for mandatory fees, an increase of $7.35 per credit, or about $22 per three-credit course. The annual cost for full-time students taking 30 credits will be $3,956.
Culinary Academy tuition will increase to $324 per credit, plus mandatory fees and an additional $299 per credit for culinary fees. Online-course tuition increases to $133.50 per credit, plus $10.25 per credit for fees.
College President Peter Mora said enrollment is expected to drop about 3 percent, requiring a tuition increase to recoup funds. The tuition hike will raise about $1 million. Enrollment peaked in 2010-11 with 11,219 students, then dropped to 10,656 in 2011-12.
Almost 63 percent of the operating budget, almost $26 million, is funded by tuition and fees, with the state funding about 15 percent or $6.1 million, the county governments 21 percent at $8.6 million. . State and county funding are expected to remain about the same next year.
Mora said the college has been reducing expenses over the last year in anticipation of the decreasing enrollment, but some costs, like health insurance are out of their control. He said faculty and staff have been reduced by 23 positions, most of which will remain unfilled.
The 2013-14 budget shows that even though salary costs area expected to drop by more than $800,000, the cost for benefits will increase by almost $740,000.
Mora said the focus will remain on providing academic services to students as part of the strategic plan to help more students make it to graduation.
“There is an incentive not to hire,” he said. “But we still have to meet our mission to help students graduate.”
More said the college Foundation has been doing a great job in raising funds for financial aid and scholarships. More than half of all students get some type of financial aid.
Atlantic Cape’s tuition and fees remain among the lowest in the state, ranking 17th among the 19 community colleges in 2012-13.
The trustees also approved a $12.3 million contract with Ben Harvey Co, Inc. of Ocean for construction of the new 33,400-square-foot science building on the Mays Landing campus. The company’s bid was the lowest among 12 companies that bid on the project. The highest bid came in at $14.5 million.
The college will also use about $13 million in state construction funds for the construction of a new Student Success Center in the main campus, and renovations at all three campuses.
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