Students react to tuition increase

Student reactions were mixed as discussions started to whirl around the campus about how MCCC increased the tuition for the 2011-2012 year.

Most students were surprised by the tuition increase, which was approved near the end of the winter semesters.

Tim Prayther is a student at MCCC who is transferring to Central Michigan University in the fall.

“So what? It only increased by like $5. At least it is not bad as Central Michigan University’s tuition,” he said.

University tuition is usually much higher than a community college. Central Michigan University charges students $346 a credit hour; Eastern Michigan University has tuition starting at $238.25; and the University of Toledo tuition starts at $304.21 per credit hour.

For students who cannot afford tuition at a university, community college is their only option. The MCCC tuition increase angered student Adrianna MacAllister.

“I feel that it is a bit outrageous, I get just enough financial aid to be able to cover about $300 short of tuition and books,” she said.

Britt Norris, a student whose tuition is covered by scholarships and the Pell grant, had a different view.

“I don’t mind the tuition increase since I am on a scholarship that pays for all my fees except for books, which is covered by my Pell grant,” she said.

“Of course the initial reaction for paying more for the same thing is always to be annoyed, so I will admit to that,” student Deanna Boberg said.

She also expressed her opinion about the compensation of teachers.

“The budget increase has come after the teacher’s contract negotiations, so if the increase of tuition is the cost of keeping the teachers who are doing an outstanding job, I am ok with it. However, if the teachers are not making more money, I am not sure what the point of the increase is, and that bothers me,” Boberg said.

There was not only a student reaction, but an alumni reaction to the tuition increase. In a letter to the editor of The Monroe Evening News, written by former Monroe Mayor Mark Worrell, he expresses his reaction.

“I’m disappointed to find that our community college has again raised tuition. The increase is about 7 percent,” Worrell said.

Mr. Worrell attended the college in the mid-1960s when a credit hour was $8. Now tuition will be $77 a contact hour.

Board of Trustees Chair William Bacarella Jr. responded to Mark Worrell’s comments with his own piece.

“MCCC remains one of the most affordable institutions of higher learning in the state at $77 a contact hour,” Bacarella said.

Even with the tuition increase Bacarella confirms that the college is still maintaining its outstanding student services.

“MCCC employees are looking for every way to save money and conserve college resources while still accomplishing the college’s mission,” said Bararella.

Boberg had a reaction to both letters publishied in the Monroe Evening News.

“I once had a teacher refer to MCCC as ‘the Harvard of community colleges.’ I believed at the time he was referring to the quality of the education now I worry that it might soon also apply to the cost,” she said.