MCCC has raised tuition by $3 per billable contact hour for the 2014-15 school year.
Last school year, students were paying $92 per billable contact hour, which has increased to $95. The increase for out-of-county and out-of-state students was $5 per credit hour. Suzanne Wetzel, vice president of Administration, said several factors are considered when fig- uring out what the cost of tuition should be.
“We look at enrollment pro- jections,” she said. “We look at some trending, in terms of gradu- ation, the economy and what’s happening in the economy.”
Wetzel said that enrollment for 2014-15 school year was project- ed to decline by 5%, which in- turn leads to a decline in revenue. There are other factors like property taxes and state appro- priations, which have been on the decline, also reducing college revenue.
When property taxes decline, revenue declines and then tuition has to be increased, Wetzel said.
Jamie Deleeuw, the Coordi- nator of Institutional Research, Evaluation and Assessment, has created a model designed to pre- dict enrollment based on past en- rollment.
“So largely that is what I use; I use past enrollment to predict future enrollment,” Wetzel said. Increasing tuition is neces- sary, Wetzel said, to maintain the college’s quality of instruction. MCCC is still a cheaper alterna- tive than most other community colleges in Michigan, she said. “A couple years ago, at least, when I looked at other Michi- gan community colleges, we were cheaper than 75 percent of them,” Deleeuw said.
However, as tuition increases, students are finding it harder to keep up.
“I guess if it was necessary, that’s okay, but I feel there might be better ways to have made some money for the budget other than putting that cost on the students,” said MCCC student Ben- jamin Bowling. “I get financial aid and that helps a lot, so I don’t think that really affects me attending college.”
“I’m 100 percent positive I have friends who either can’t at- tend completely or they couldn’t take as many classes as they would like due to the increased cost,” he added.
Other students noted that it’s not only tuition that is getting expensive, but other factors, like textbooks, as well.
“It’s frustrating because not only does tuition go up but books get more expensive every year, too,” said MCCC student Julia Wehner. “College just keeps getting more expensive in general and harder to pay without taking out a loan,” she said. “But MCCC is still the least expensive option around and they have the program I want for my associates, so that’s why I continue to attend.”