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June 21, 2013

 

TC3 tuition rising 3.6 percent

College approves $38.3 million budget with 2.2 percent spending increase

By TYRONE L. HEPPARD
Staff Reporter
theppard@cortlandstandardnews.net

DRYDEN — Full-time Tompkins Cortland Community College students will see a 3.6 percent increase in tuition and part-time students will see a 3 percent increase in the 2013-14 academic year.
The Tompkins Cortland Community College’s board of trustees met Thursday night to adopt a new $38,307,435 budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, which begins on Sept. 1.
The $38.3 million budget is 2.2 percent higher than the budget approved for the 2012-13 academic year and includes an increase in full-time tuition from $4,150 to $4,300 annually.
Part-time tuition will increase from $147 to $152 per credit hour.
“This is a very tight budget,” said TC3 President Carl Haynes. “The increases are primarily required obligations such as health insurance, etc. However, we will continue to serve our students and our sponsoring communities well.”
Cortland and Tompkins counties will each contribute 3 percent more to the college’s budget next year.
Employee health insurance benefits are expected to increase 9.5 percent while retirement system rates are projected to increase 10 percent. Other contributing factors are equipment needs and increased enrollment in certain programs. The board also said there will be no changes to staff levels.
This is the first time in three years TC3 has asked Tompkins and Cortland counties to increase aid. Even so, the total percentage of the budget funded by the sponsor counties will actually decrease from 11.95 percent to 11.78 percent.
The amount the sponsor counties contribute is determined by a three-year average enrollment ratio, or the number of students who came from both counties over the last three years, including 2013. Tompkins County’s share is expected to be $2,788,652, while Cortland County’s expected share is $1,637,736.
TC3 Dean of Operations and Enrollment Management Blixy Taetzsch said the increase is fair because in past years the college has accepted steady payments from the member counties or just slight increases.
The projected enrollment for 2013-14 is 3,968 full-time equivalent students, or FTEs, an approximately 1.5 percent increase. Haynes says any student taking 30 credit hours in a year is equivalent to one FTE. This is important because the number of FTEs determines how much aid the college will receive from the state.
State aid to community colleges is projected to be $2,422 per FTE; a 6.6 increase in the rate from the 2012-13 budget. However, the board says it is a 9.5 decrease from the state aid rate in fall 2009. Total state aid revenue is projected at more than $9.9 million.
On Thursday night, the Cortland County Legislature’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously supported the TC3 budget in addition to endorsing the college’s use of about $250,000 in surplus to replace lost revenue due to lower enrollment in the 2012-13 fiscal year and lower than expected state aid and tuition revenues.
Both Tompkins and Cortland counties as well as the SUNY board of trustees must approve the budget. The Cortland County Legislature will be voting on the TC3 budget on June 27 and the Tompkins County Legislature is scheduled to vote on July 2. The SUNY Board of Trustees is expected to act on the budget in September.

 

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