Tuition to rise 12% at Shoreline Community College under new state budget

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shoreline Community College will go into the next year with less money coming from the state, more money coming from students and fewer employees.

“You can see that over the past three years, the percentage of the college budget from the state allocation is getting smaller while the percentage covered by student tuition and fees is getting larger,” said Daryl Campbell, Vice President for Administrative Services. Campbell was speaking to the college Board of Trustees at the June 22 regular meeting. 
The trustees approved the overall budget of $37.8 million, but not unanimously and even some of the yes votes weren’t happy about it.
“Can the trustees vote to approve something less than 12 percent,” Shoreline Trustee Shoubee Liaw asked somewhat rhetorically. “I think it is just morally wrong. We’re committing (students) to debt.”
Board Chair Jerry Smith said he would reluctantly vote for the tuition increase included in the budget, but agreed with Liaw.
“Increasing tuition at a place like the University of Washington is one thing, but raising tuition at a community college is way worse,” Smith said. “The community college system is at the forefront of the national agenda right now. To raise tuition on community college students is very objectionable to me.”

The budget includes a 12 percent average tuition increase, an increase set by the state Legislature in the recent special session and approved by Gov. Chris Gregoire. 

During a study session before the regular meeting, Campbell presented a chart that showed the shifting funding burden.

In 2009-10, Campbell said, the unrestricted state allocation accounted for 51 percent of the college budget. The next year that had slipped to 48 percent and for the coming year the figure is 44 percent. 

In contrast, the student tuition portion has risen from 34 percent, to 35 percent to 40 percent over the same three years. He also pointed out that the category called local funds, primarily student-paid fees, has also grown from 8.9 percent, to 9.5 percent to 11.3 percent of the operating budget during that same period.

--Jim Hills,  SCC Blog


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