March 31, 2011
HARRISBURG – HACC set its tentative tuition rates for the coming school year based on proposed reductions in state funding and a tentative agreement to reduce contributions from sponsoring school districts.
The proposed state budget includes a 10 percent reduction in funding to community colleges,” said Ron Young, interim president. “For HACC, that amounts to a $3.3 million reduction in funding.
“But, our sponsoring school districts are also facing significant reductions in state funding and they have asked for a 30 percent or $3.5 million reduction in their sponsorship payments to HACC in light of their shortfalls.”
The college agreed to work with the school districts and will be proposing a budget that meets that goal, he said. The budget is based on preliminary discussions with delegates from the school districts and must be approved in April in a formal vote of the delegate body and then in May by HACC’s Board of Trustees. The rates remain tentative until both approvals are finalized.
As a result, students from outside of the sponsoring districts will see a $6 increase in tuition to $189 from $183. That amounts to a 3.3 percent increase in the coming year. All students will also pay an additional $5.50 in fee increases – primarily to offset higher technology costs.
Sponsored students – who represent just 34 percent of the HACC student body -- will face a $30 increase from $106.50 to $136.50 or 28.2 percent assuming both the HACC board and the delegates from the school districts formally approve the pact.
The additional payments by sponsored students will offset the decrease in support by the school districts, he said.
“The sponsored rate is still 28 percent lower than the non-sponsored rate,” Young said, “and that still makes HACC the best education bargain in the region.”
The college also worked to decrease its operating costs including reducing proposed salary increases, reducing the cost of benefits and eliminating positions.
“In the end,” Young said, “the sponsored students will be picking up the difference in decreased sponsorship – a burden the non-sponsored students already bear in full.”
Most of the college’s sponsored students attend HACC’s Harrisburg Campus although sponsored students may attend any of the college’s campuses at the sponsored rate.
In addition to the Harrisburg Campus, the college has campuses in Gettysburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York along with a very active Virtual Campus for online classes. More than half of the enrollments at the college come from the non-sponsored campuses and that percentage has grown every year.
Registration at HACC will begin Monday, April 4. Students will be billed for tuition at the proposed rates but their bill would be adjusted if there was any change from the board of trustees.
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