TCC Board of Regents approves a modest tuition and fee increase

The Tulsa Community College Board of Regents approved a little more than a 2% increase in tuition and fees during its June 13 meeting.  The change in tuition and fees equals a $2.50 per credit hour increase for in-state tuition and brings the average rate of TCC’s tuition increase to students in the past five years to 3.45%.  The increase in tuition and fees is part of the FY 2014 budget.

“We held to a modest increase in tuition and fees for fiscal year 2014 because affordability is important to TCC, our students and the College’s mission,” TCC President Tom McKeon said.  “Our goal is to ensure the highest level of access and quality for the citizens of Tulsa County while staying within our financial means.”  Beginning Fall 2013, the cost will be $108.50 per credit hour compared to $106.  A full-time student taking 12 hours will pay $1302 in tuition and fees compared to $1272.

The TCC Board of Regents also approved in the FY 2014 budget an additional $500,000 in tuition waivers bringing TCC’s total in scholarship support for students to $3 million.

TCC’s proposed operating budget for FY 2014 is $117,160,384 compared to $112,419, 450 for FY 2013 which includes an additional $808,669 in new revenue from the state.  In outlining the challenges in developing FY 2014 budget, McKeon said, “The additional funding from the state doesn’t cover the mandatory cost increases for our institution for items such as health care, energy costs and service contracts.”

With the decline in state appropriations in recent years and an increase in enrollment in the past decade, TCC has seen a shift in its revenue streams.  State appropriations are now a smaller percentage of TCC’s total revenue and tuition has become a larger portion of its revenue with the balance coming from ad valorem taxes.

In response to the funding trend, TCC is adapting its budget process.  For FY 2015, TCC will include a more detailed look at the impact of enrollment trends on the college’s overall planning.  This will include moving decisions on compensation and large expenditures from summer to fall.  “I believe this change in our budget process is prudent for a number of reasons and takes into account our increasing reliance on enrollment and tuition revenue to sustain our College and our mission,” McKeon said.

He added there were several factors that strengthened the budget including meeting budget projections for FY 2013 and an improvement in TCC’s debt collections system resulting in a higher collection rate of tuition and fees (FY 2014 estimates a 97 percent collection rate).

The upcoming budget also included funds for additional health coverage for employees to accommodate the federal Affordable Care Act and provides for a 3% salary increase and a merit increase for all faculty and staff. 

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