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Community College Adminstrators Want Funds from Tuition Hikes

Posted May 9, 2007

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— Community college presidents have expressed anger as lawmakers consider moving tuition hike money to other parts of the state budget.

Few state agencies and programs get what they want when lawmakers go through the process of doling out funds in the budgetary process. But community college presidents argue their 800,000 full- and part-time students are not getting a fair deal.

“Our presidents are concerned and upset,” said Kennon Briggs, vice president of business and finance in the North Carolina Community College System. “Students will pay more, but funds won't necessarily be coming back.”

Briggs said students will pay more than $7 million in tuition hikes next year. Yet, it appears that money will go back into the state's general fund, instead of paying for needed counselors and programs.

“Our presidents are going, ‘What happened? What is different now than it's been in the past?’ And we don't have an answer for that,” Briggs said.

However, some lawmakers said the criticism is unwarranted.

“Some people kind of overreact to something I don't think is a major problem,” said Rep. Doug Yongue, D-Scotland.

Community colleges are slated to get $30 million extra for building and equipment needs. While still among the lowest in the country, instructors are looking at an average pay hike of five percent. College leaders want that tuition money, but some lawmakers said other agencies and programs are also in line.

“There are a lot of needs out there,” Yongue said.

8 Comments

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  • iam5of7 May 11, 2007

    Amen to all!

  • Nothing New May 10, 2007

    This is a direct TAX on the students and parents of students, who most if they could afford would go to one of UNC systems colleges. This is totally unfair to the CC System. They should also raise the tution rates for the UNC System of Colleges, just as they have done for CC, I think the UPROAR would be heard around the State. The College system would not stand for such taxation and tution increase dictated by the Legislator and not return the College System, They would all SCREAM FOUL. The NC CC System is treated and the Red Headed Step Child in this state, but everytime the Gov announces another company moving into the state, who is tasked with training future employee's?????

  • lollly52 May 10, 2007

    What in the world?? “Some people kind of overreact to something I don't think is a major problem,” said Rep. Doug Yongue, D-Scotland.
    The Community College system is an asset to NC and the CC is terribly under funded. All fees collected should stay within the CC system. Yonggue is, and I mean this in the harshest terms possible, a complete and utter idiot.

  • mattatiww May 10, 2007

    “There are a lot of needs out there,” Yongue said

    I wonder how where education is on his list? The community college system in NC always seemed, in my mind to be the unsung heroes of NC’s higher education system.

  • iam5of7 May 10, 2007

    I believe in the mission of the community college system, but fear for its survival as enrollemnt continues to grow, but budget income does not.

    As an aside, I earned by undergraduate degree with 64 credits transferred in from an associate degree obtained from a North Carolina community college. The total cost for the associate degree was about $2500. The additional 64 credits to obtain the undergraduate from a North Carolina university was about $11,200. The state is getting about 800,000 TAX PAYING new workers every year, thanks to the affordability of the community college system. It would seem ashame to allow it to be negelected.

  • iam5of7 May 10, 2007

    As a community college instructor, I have never had any illussions of getting rich. Like many, I would at least like to break even, maybe even retire one day. What many may not understand is that the legislator sets the tuition, the colleges collect it, and it then goes directly to the general funds (NOT the college). The colleges submit a budget, and hope what they get is enough for salaries, supplies, and facilitie, and expected growth (which typically has to be demonstrated before funding, rather than anticipated). We try to be good and prudent custodians of your tax money.

    The tuition is extremely resonable, contirbuting to an explosive growth in enrollment. If a tuition hike (hard to swallow for those who truly need the lowest tuition possible) does not provide current technologies, instructors, and support services for the students, than where does that money come from? We can propose just so many bonds on the election ballat.

    I believe in the mission of the community colle

  • tmar10 May 10, 2007

    Any funds directed back to the general fund, from the increase in tuition, must be considered a tax increase for the cc student. I guess the legislature desires to seek new revenues from all available sources, without regard to an individuals capacity to pay.

  • whatithink2 May 9, 2007

    Since when does the state of North Carolina raise tuition but then doesn't return the tuition increase revenues on direct resources for the same students? Does the state not realize that students who come to the community colleges are already contributing to "other needs out there" to quote Rep. Yongue. I mean if they are going to do that why not just come on campuses and collect it directly from the students and tell them straight up that they're going to use it to fund other needs?

    Will UNC colleges also have tuition increases to pay for other needs in the state????