Parkland officials propose 4.5 percent tuition increase

CHAMPAIGN — Parkland College officials are recommending a 4.5 percent tuition increase for in-district students, beginning with the summer term.

The board of the Champaign-based community college will consider the tuition increase at its Feb. 22 meeting.

If approved by the board, tuition for most in-district students would rise by $7 per credit hour to $164 per credit hour, including all tuition and fees.

But tuition in what Parkland President Tom Ramage called “high-cost, low-enrollment career programs” would increase to $225 per credit hour. Those programs include dental hygiene, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, occupational therapy assistant, x-ray, respiratory technology, surgical technology and veterinary technology.

The general academic tuition increase of 4.5 percent is less than the 11.74 percent increase approved last February for the current academic year.

Asked how the college could afford a lower tuition increase this year, even as state aid continues to recede, Ramage said, “We can’t.”

Parkland faces a budget deficit next year of more than $1 million, he said.

“The bottom line is that there is a projected $1.3 million deficit going into next year’s budget. If we’re going to balance the budget only on tuition, it would have to be substantially more. But we don’t want to do that. We can’t do that,” Ramage said.

For now, he said, the Parkland administration is uncertain about how to eliminate the deficit. Next year’s budget will be adopted later this spring.

“A number of things could happen. The state could get itself together, enrollment could go up or we could continue to reduce expenditures. So all three of those things or a little bit of each could be in play,” he said.

The tuition plan going before the board next week calls for no increases for out-of-district, out-of-state or international students.

“We’re pushing up against peers in terms of pricing ourselves too high. There’s some thought that by keeping those rates lower, we may increase our enrollment with out-of-district, out-of-state and international students,” Ramage said. “But if we price it too much higher than our peers, we’ll disincent students to come here.”

Under the plan, tuition for out-of-district students would be $370 per credit hour.

Tuition for out-of-state and international students would remain at $529 per credit hour.

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February 14, 2017 at 11:16PM

Parkland officials propose 4.5 percent tuition increase

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