Harper College students will pay more to attend classes beginning this summer after the school’s board on Wednesday hiked tuition and fees 4.3 percent.
When the increase was proposed last month, officials blamed it on a host of factors, including state funding cuts, concerns about a potential state-imposed property tax freeze, and rising personnel costs.
By the board’s action Wednesday night, tuition and fees at the Palatine-based community college will increase by $5.75 per credit hour, from the current $135.25 rate to $141, for in-district students.
A $1.50-per-credit-hour fee increase — to help fund ongoing maintenance of a new parking garage and the college’s Recreation and Wellness Center — will go into effect at the spring 2018 semester. An accompanying $1.50-per-credit-hour fee hike will take effect in summer 2018.
The $38 million gym renovation project, funded by Harper and the Palatine Park District, will begin soon and is expected to be complete by fall 2018. Officials say the total $3 “universal” fee approved by the board will help fund half the ongoing operating costs of the facility; the other half will come from additional user fees.
Students will get access to the gym, and upon graduation with a degree or certificate, they will get a three-month membership.
While students who choose to use the new 791-space parking garage on the east side of campus currently pay $54 per semester, the garage will be open to all beginning this fall since the universal fee will help cover it.
Harper’s board unanimously approved the tuition and fee hike 6-0, though student Trustee Eric DeBold cast an advisory “no” vote. Harper’s student government association supported the $5.75 tuition and fee hike, but not the new $3 universal fee.
At a board workshop meeting last week, Harper Trustee Bill Kelley proposed taking separate votes on tuition and fees, but Board Chairman Greg Dowell said planning for the college’s budget depended on having both items together.
Even with the tuition and fee increases, Harper’s next budget is still about $750,000 in the red, and officials say they soon plan to propose cuts to ensure the budget is balanced.
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February 15, 2017 at 09:48PM