MACOMB COUNTY — Students who attend Macomb Community College will see an increase in tuition rates when they register for their fall 2013 and spring/summer 2014 semester classes.
At a Macomb Community College Board of Trustees meeting Jan. 15, the board voted 5-2 to increase resident tuition by $3 per credit hour along with an additional $5 per credit hour technology and facility fee. All of Macomb Community College’s tuition rates will increase approximately 3 1/2 percent beginning with the fall 2013 semester.
According to college officials, the new fee and tuition rates are designed to address several financial challenges the school is continuing to manage, including a decline in property tax revenue and increases in mandated expenditures, such as retirement system payments.
College officials also felt a loss when, on Nov. 6, voters turned down a $56 million bond initiative that, if it had passed, was designed to fund capital expenditures to renovate and update MCC’s facilities and technology infrastructure.
“The board has carefully evaluated the steps taken by the college over the past several years to manage its increasingly compromised traditional revenue streams,” MCC Board of Trustees Chair James Kelly said in a prepared statement. “Taking into account the efficiencies already implemented, including staffing reductions, salary freezes and savings achieved through employee health care plan management, we recognized that Macomb would need to join the majority of community colleges in the region and throughout the state by implementing a fee to support necessary technology and facilities expenditures designed to support student success and meet community needs for meaningful educational opportunities.”
Currently residents pay $86 per credit hour. That will increase to $89 for the next school year. Non-resident fees increase from $131 to $136 per credit hour; out-of-state/foreign credit hour fees increase from $170 to $176; affiliates from $108 to $112; and variable (contract) from $86 to $89. The $5 per credit hour technology and facilities fee is an additional assessment to the tuition rates.
Kelly, Vice Chairperson Christine Bonkowski, Secretary Connie Bolanowski, Treasurer Roseanne DiMaria and Trustee Nancy Falcone voted in favor of the new tuition rates. Trustees Joseph DeSantis and Frank Cusumano voted against the measure.
Cusumano voted it down because he doesn’t believe MCC students are in a “position to pay more.”
“I ran on a platform of no tuition increases until there was data that Macomb County residents’ income was increasing,” Cusumano said. “There hasn’t been that. I didn’t want (increases) to be thrown on the students’ shoulders. I don’t want to over-burden the students. The college serves the community. The community doesn’t serve the college.”
With the failure of the MCC bond last fall and also the defeat of the Macomb Intermediate School District’s special education millage in November 2011, Cusumano believes the voters have spoken.
“I believe that was a trend,” Cusumano said. “The voters are saying they are tapped out and they can’t pay more.”
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