A $5 per contact hour tuition increase was approved by MCCC April 4.
Monroe county resident students who paid $102 this semester for a billable contact hour, will pay $107 for Fall Semester 2016.
The board also approved Fall Semester tuition rate increases for students who are not residents of Monroe County.
Students living in Michigan, but outside Monroe County, will pay $186 per billable contact hour, up $9. Students from out of state will pay $207, up $10.
MCCC Coordinator of Institutional Research Jamie DeLeeuw said there has recently been a statistically significant relationship between tuition and enrollment, in addition to the statistically significant relationship between the unemployment rate and enrollment.
MCCC’s enrollment has declined over the last six years, while tuition has increased. During the same period, the unemployment rate increased.
DeLeeuw said using both the tuition and county unemployment rate improves an enrollment prediction model.
DeLeeuw said that while tuition increases may have a small effect on enrollment, she can’t say it definitively. It would probably be larger if neighboring institutions didn’t increase theirs as well, she said.
The board had disscussed the tuition increase during a previous meeting on March 28.
Vice President of Administration Sue Wetzel explained that data that showed the relationship between MCCC’s enrollment and tuition, as well as comparisons to other colleges in the area, such as BGSU, Owen’s, UT and EMU.
She said that billing students after payment deadlines to reflect tuition increases like we saw last year was not good and should not be repeated.
She showed projected tuition increases to respond to enrollment declines. She said the property taxes MCCC receives have now reached the same level as in 2005.
Wetzel showed that other colleges charge students many types of fees in addition to the cost of a course.
“We are not going to fee our students to death,” she said. “Everybody’s trying to figure out the right recipe to help themselves.”
Board Chairman Joe Bellino said that board members always hate to raise tuition, but that the projected increase for Fall 2016 seemed reasonable.
“Everything keeps going up, oil keeps going up, wages are going up some, health care has gone up tremendously, so we’re strapped,” he said.
“We don’t like doing it. I know what I paid for my daughters and granddaughters at Grand Valley, UofM and EMU, and it’s still a great bargain.”