Parkland board approves tuition increase

CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College students will pay 5.3 percent more for tuition next term under new rates approved by the school's trustees.

Tuition will rise from $103.50 to $109 per semester credit hour starting with the summer term. For a full-time, 15-hour course load, the cost will rise $82.50, from $1,552.50 to $1,635 per semester — although more than half of Parkland's students attend part-time.

Students living outside Parkland's district will pay $285 per credit hour, up from $252. Non-resident and international students will pay $435 per credit hour.

Rates for students who take courses online will also rise, equal to 55 percent of their respective on-campus rates, as follows: $157 per credit hour for out-of-district students, $240 for out-of-state students, and $240 for international students.

Rates for specific career programs whose costs are pegged to the basic tuition rate will also rise.

Parkland President Tom Ramage said the school's long-held policy is to increase tuition by a small amount each year — usually $5 per credit hour — to avoid big jumps and keep college costs predictable for families.

Last year's increase was $4.50, as student leaders requested that 50 cents be diverted to a student government fee to increase student programming on campus, he said. This year's rate increase is 50 cents higher as a result, he said.

The tuition rates were approved at Wednesday's board meeting 6-1, with Trustee Donna Giertz voting no. Student Trustee Krystal Torres, who has an advisory vote, supported the increase.

A financial report presented to trustees shows a $500,000 deficit in general operating funds through the first seven months of the year, mostly because tuition income fell below projections last fall. Enrollment dropped by 6 percent over the previous fall, with a head count of about 9,650 students.

Enrollment hit new highs during the recession but tapered off as the economy recovered, a typical historical pattern, Ramage said. This semester's head count is down about 3 percent from last year, he said.

"That means less tuition dollars," he said.

State funding is also down, with Parkland receiving 11 percent of its income from the state, or about $6 million, compared with 20 percent a few years ago, he said.

At the same time, growth in local property tax income has slowed during the recession, and corporate personal property replacement taxes are also down, he said.

Revenue is behind projections by about $500,000, but with contingencies built in to the budget Parkland should finish the fiscal year with a balanced budget or even a surplus, he said. The college, which is self-insured, has seen significantly fewer health insurance claims this year, which means lower costs, he said.

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aantulov wrote on February 27, 2013 at 7:02 am

Was it not just a couple a years ago that Parklands Board announced a 90 millon dollar bond spending spree of property taxes without a public vote?  We see the new signs that replaced similar ones.  We see the new profit apartments on what was parkland college property, that are not dorms but open to anyone.  I don't see much else from a walk around campus besides a redecorated bathroom.  Nor do I see anything but "to be announced" temporary teachers listed in the even thinner course offering.

AND NOW TUITION HIKES BECAUSE ATTENDANCE HAS DROPPED OFF?  THIS IS NOT BRAIN SURGERY.  WE ARE IN A RECESSION.  90 MILLION SHOULD HAVE MEANT TUITION WAVED OR CUT IN HALF. CLEARLY LESS ARE BEING SERVED WHILE MORE HAS BEEN SPENT.

 

There are young men and women willing to risk life and limb for our freedom.  A freedom that few excercise.  At this juncture I doubt many of them could afford Parkland.

Have all community leaders been so easily  coerced  or worse or there something in the water that makes people behave like sheep here? 

Even a clocks that broken is right twice a day, maybe the TEA party has a point.  

When is the next election of the board and whose up to be replaced?

Why only every six years, can that be changed?

When was the last time someone staged a protest on campus grounds?

The Parkland Board has a school radio, tv channel, newspaper, scrolling sign on a major street and website to make its case and invite the public to view their meetings or plans....have they bothered? 

Are they willing to post who got contracts so the public may investigate if there is a connection?