Co-Lin tuition goes up $100

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 8, 2000

WESSON — A $100 per semester tuition increase is expected togenerate $300,000 to help Copiah-Lincoln Community College offset aprojected $1.4 million loss in state revenue, school officials saidThursday.

WESSON — A $100 per semester tuition increase is expected togenerate $300,000 to help Copiah-Lincoln Community College offset aprojected $1.4 million loss in state revenue, school officials saidThursday.

The full-time tuition increase from $500 to $600 per semesterwas among recommendations approved Thursday by the school’s boardof trustees. A part-time tuition from $60 to $75 per semestercredit hour was also approved and is expected to bring in around$80,000.

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“Although we do not want to increase tuition, this is one of thefew areas where the college has any control over new revenue,” saidCo-Lin President Dr. Howell Garner.

Garner said the last tuition increase was in the 1993-94 schoolyear when it was raised from $400 to $500. Even with the increase,Garner said, the tuition stays competitive with other communitycolleges, which overall offer the “very best buy for thedollar.”

“Students get a sound educational foundation for transfer at amuch lower cost, and those students who graduate from technicalprograms are well-prepared for the job market upon graduation,”Garner said.

Mentioning a tuition hike under consideration at Hinds CommunityCollege, Garner said it is very likely other community collegeswill also raise their rates.

“They’re all looking at the same cuts we are,” Garner said,while also citing university tuition hikes last year and thepossibility of more this year.

Garner said 53 percent of Co-Lin’s students have their tuitionand other expenses fully covered by Pell grants. A good percentageof other students have them partially covered, he said.

While not the final totals, Legislative Budget Officeprojections show a statewide revenue loss of around $39 million forcommunity colleges. Garner said the budget must be approved thelegislature.

Co-Lin’s share amounts to approximately $1.46 million, accordingto totals presented Thursday.

“Obviously, that’s not the kind of money you can go and take outof your supply budget,” Garner told trustees.

A $75 increase in dormitory fees is expected to generate over$87,000 to help with the revenue loss. The fee increase does notapply to the school’s honors dorms.

Other savings or new revenue is forecast from educationalpositions which have been frozen, reductions in supply and travelspending and a request from supporting counties next year for themaximum-allowed three-mill property tax levy. The tax levy increasewould realize over $355,000 in additional revenue, of which LincolnCounty’s contribution would be around $67,000.

“We feel fairly comfortable we can generate these savings withthe actions we’re proposing,” Garner said.

Following meetings earlier this week, Garner told trustees thatthe faculty was supportive of the plans and would have a positiveattitude toward solving the funding problems. Revenue loss plansinclude no salary cuts but also no step salary increases next yearfor faculty.

“I don’t think they’d expect it under the circumstances we’relooking at,” Garner said.

Step raises would cost around $100,000, and board member KenBailey urged the administration to look closely and try to find away to give the raises.

“That’s something that’s hardly ever been violated in thehistory of the school,” Bailey said.

Garner told trustees the state revenue loss was only in theschool operations area. It was not related to capital improvementfunding and the two could not be mixed.

“Capitol improvement (building) money cannot be used to helpoffset loss in state revenue operational funds,” Garner said. “Itcan only be used for purchasing real property or equipment and theconstruction or renovation or buildings and street construction orrepair.”

In other matters, trustees renewed Garner’s contract as schoolpresident for a four-year term through 2004. In another personnelmatter, assistant football coach Dave Cross was promoted to headcoach following Phil Broome’s resignation last month.

“I feel good that he’s going to do a good job for the program,”Garner said of Cross, who was among four finalists interviewed forthe position.

In a related area, the school’s personnel policy is under reviewand recommendations, including implementation of an employeedrug-testing plan, are expected after the of the year, Garnersaid.

In other matters, Garner said Thursday was a “blue-ribbon day”on the Natchez campus following the completion of the purchase of14.81 acres of land near the school. The purchase price was$537,887.

Co-Lin and Alcorn State University are working toward toconstruct a new Fine Arts Center to be used by both schools. In theagreement, Co-Lin was responsible for securing the land and ASUwill work on funding to construct the multi-million facility,Co-Lin officials said.