College Trustees Approve Tuition Increase and ECC Sullivan Closure
During its April 10 meeting, the East Central College board of trustees approved a five dollar per credit hour increase to the in-district, out-of-district, out-of-state and international tuition rates to take effect for the 2017 fall semester. The increase raises the in-district tuition rate to $85 per credit hour; $122 out-of-district; $181 out-of-state; and $186 for international students. A full time in-district student taking 15 credit hours per semester will see a tuition cost increase of 75 dollars.
ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer says the tuition increase is necessary given the reduction in state funding to Missouri’s community colleges combined with a decline in enrollment during past few years. “Increasing tuition isn’t a recommendation we make lightly, but this decision puts the college in a stronger budget position and provides us the ability to continue to provide quality programs to our students and community members.”
Currently, 60 percent of ECC students receive full or partial federal financial aid for the cost of tuition, while over 90 percent of students receive some sort of combination of financial assistance in federal financial aid, loans, grants or scholarships.
“Even with the tuition increase, ECC is still has one of the lowest tuition rates in the area,” says Dr. Bauer, “And this approval by the board allows us to maintain the quality of our programs and services for our students and the community.”
Also during the meeting, board members approved a recommendation to close the ECC Sullivan location. The college leases space at 11 North Clark and will cease operations at the location June 30, 2017. Over the past several years, enrollment at the location has significantly declined due to the growth of online and hybrid classes and with the decrease in class offerings a student cannot complete certificate or degree at the location. Pending Sullivan high school graduates enrolled at ECC are planning to attend classes in Union or Rolla for the coming year.
It is estimated the closing of the location will result in an annual savings of approximately $57,000. Many of the direct expenses (lease, utilities, etc.) would be eliminated.
“We have tried various scheduling option in an effort to reverse the decreasing enrollment trend but haven’t been successful,” said Dr. Bauer, “Students who attend Sullivan will have options to enroll in courses in Union or Rolla, and will have access to more comprehensive services than are currently available in Sullivan.”