The Northwest State Community College Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition 2.8%, to $146 per credit hour, during its Monday, Nov. 19 meeting.
It is the second increase this calendar year, and the third in 19 months.
The board reduced tuition from $136 per credit hour to $131 in December 2009. It remained at $131 until April 2011, when it increased $5, or 3.8%, to $136.
In April 2012 tuition rose $6, or 4.4%, to $142, before going up $4 to $146 per credit hour last week.
The increase goes into effect in the spring of 2013.
Michelle O’Dell, coordinator of marketing and public relations for NSCC, said there was a $1.4 million shortfall in the 2012-13 budget.
College officials made up $1.3 million through budget cuts, which were done without laying off staff.
“There are several upcoming retirements, and the positions are not being refilled. Work from those positions will be reallocated to other existing positions,” she said.
After the budget cuts, there was still about $100,000 that needed to be addressed.
The tuition increase will generate about $83,000 in additional revenue.
Lowering the subsidy rollback will make up the remaining $17,000.
College officials set aside a portion of their state subsidy checks, in case the State of Ohio has its own financial shortfall and is unable to pay NSCC all of its allocated subsidy dollars.
“Since 2007, Northwest State has increased tuition by 7%,” O’Dell said.
“However, NSCC has gone from having the second-highest community college tuition rate to being tied for 14th out of 23 colleges in Ohio.
“NSCC is still a third the cost of four-year colleges and universities, providing local residents with an affordable option for a degree leading to a career, or credits that will transfer toward a bachelor’s degree.”
In addition, the college has added several services designed to improve student success, “creating a lot of value for each tuition dollar,” she said.
Tom Stuckey, NSCC president, said in a press release, “Many of NSCC’s students balance a job and family while taking classes, and many are returning to the classroom after a long lapse.
“Providing services such as free tutoring, study labs, and counseling often make the difference between a student successfully completing a program and dropping out.
“We have a responsibility to provide not only the education and training students need, but also the resources to help them succeed as they work to change their future and improve their earning power.”
Northwest State officials also announced enrollment has decreased more than expected.
Enrollment for the fall 2012 semester is down 7% as compared to the fall 2011 term.
Terry King, senior data systems administrator, said, “Local unemployment figures are the biggest factor in forecasting NSCC’s enrollment.”
Mari Yoder, vice president of institutional advancement, said, “Historically, when unemployment figure increase, enrollment increases and when unemployment dips, so does enrollment.
“In the fall of 2011, unemployment in NSCC’s fivecounty service area (Fulton, Defiance, Henry, Paulding, Williams) was 8.5%.
“This fall, it dropped to 6.5%.
“While we are seeing more people go back to work or transition from part-time to full-time, we recognize that there is still an educational need in our area.
“Northwest State is working with local business and industry to determine what their needs are, and how we can help train workers to meet those needs.”