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Students at East Central College will see a jump in tuition rates for the upcoming fall semester.

 

At their March 5 meeting the board of trustees voted unanimously to a 7.6 percent across the board increase in the tuition rate. 

 

“ECC currently has the lowest tuition of any college or university in Missouri,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, vice president for finance and administration.  “In our conversations with administrators at the other institutions across the state we believe that will remain the case even after this increase.” 

 

Tuition for in-district students will increase $5 to $71 per credit hour.  Out-of-district students will pay $101 per credit hour which is $7 more than the current rate.  Tuition for out-of-state students will go up $11 per credit hour to $152, while the tuition rate for international students climbs $12 per credit hour to $164.  General fees will remained unchanged at $10 per credit hour.  That $10 is broken down into $2.50 for support services, $3 for technology and $4.50 for student activities.

 

“For a full-time, in-district student taking 30 credit hours a year, the increase will mean an additional cost of $150,”   noted Bauer.  “An out-of-district student will pay an additional $210 if enrolled in 30 credit hours for the academic year.” 

 

ECC raised tuition last March, which was the first increase in six years. 

 

Bauer said the tuition increase will generate an estimated $445,000 in general revenue which will offset reductions in state aid and increased payroll costs due to previously grant-funded positions moving to the general fund for the 2013 fiscal year.  Those two factors alone represent an estimated $682,000 that needs to be balanced with increases in revenue and reductions in spending. 

 

Bauer shared with trustees a preliminary draft of a $17.9 million budget for FY 2013 based on the eight percent reduction in state aid, level enrollment and flat local revenue.  "The possibility of mid-year withholdings in state aid next year is also a concern," Bauer stated.   "As we continue to develop the budget for next year we will also look at ways to reduce expenses.  Even with the tuition increase our preliminary budget assumes no increase in wages and a 15 percent reduction in current expenses."

 

This year ECC has an operating budget of almost $18.4 million.  State aid accounts for 27 percent of the money coming into the college.  More than 32 percent comes from local sales tax revenue and student tuition and fees account for almost 39 percent of the revenue.

 

The final budget and staffing plan will be presented to the board in May.

 

Enrollment

 

“The number of students enrolled in credit classes increased slightly from last fall to this spring semester,” said Dr. Ed Jackson, ECC president.  “Our final spring census figures show 4,251 students enrolled, 124 more than we enrolled for the 2011 fall semester.  However, that figure is down over four percent compared to spring of 2011.” 

 

Jackson noted that the five year enrollment trend is positive.  Since 2008, the number of students enrolled in spring classes is up 19 percent and credit hour enrollment has increased 26 percent.     

 

Fee Additions & Modifications

 

Fee hikes associated with a number of classes will also go into effect for the 2012 fall semester.  Many of the new fees or fee increases cover or defray course specific materials or software associated with specific programs.  In several instances a course fee collected by ECC covers specific costs which are subsequently distributed by the college to appropriate agencies due to program accreditation or certification.    

 

Jean McCann, vice president of instruction, noted that one of the fees that will increase next fall is for dual technical credit.  Currently, ECC offers dual technical credit courses to students in secondary programs aligned with the college’s career/technical programs, giving those students the chance to receive credit while still in high school.   “That cost is now $10 per course, but will increase to $30 per course next fall,” said McCann. 

 

“Up until last year the costs associated with operating the dual technical credit program were covered as part of the Tech Prep grant, but that grant was eliminated by the Department of Education in 2011.”   

 

New Library Director and Soccer Coach Hired

 

Personnel matters approved by the ECC Board of Trustees at their March 5 meeting included the promotion of Lisa Farrell to Director of Library Services.  Farrell worked in the ECC library from 1995 to 2001 and 2006 to the present in a variety of positions, currently as associate director of library services.  Farrell earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Truman State University.  Farrell replaces Kathy Schlump who will retire June 30.

 

Trustees also authorized the hiring of Kean Barclay as the new head men’s soccer coach for the upcoming 2012 season.

 

Barclay has played and coached at various levels in the U.S. and Scotland.   He obtained his bachelor’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in sports management from Indiana University –Purdue University in Indianapolis.  He also holds a national diploma in sport, health and exercise from the University of Abertay in Scotland.

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