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Budget Reduced $600,000 and includes $325,000 less from state
John Wood Community College Board of Trustees approved a tentative $14,340,600 operating budget during its regular meeting Wednesday night.
The 2015 budget is $600,000 less than the current year and includes a $323,000 reduction in state funding.
JWCC projects students to enroll in 41,700 credit hours next year, a decrease of 1,750 from last year’s total of 43,450. The projection is based on a number of factors, including lower unemployment rates and smaller high school graduating classes. However, JWCC has exceeded summer enrollment goals and early enrollment figures for fall 2014 are outpacing projections.
“We have to be less reliant on state support, while living within our means, “JWCC President Mike Elbe said. “It’s a challenge we’ve been proactively solving, but our credit hour projections have made it even more difficult and required us to increase tuition. “
To combat demographic and economic conditions, JWCC increased student tuition and fees, trimmed departmental costs and launched a new “2x2” online program, all while providing solid student support and outcomes.
“Our faculty and staff and budget managers are to be commended for their work to balance this year’s budget,” Elbe noted.
Following a tuition freeze in 2014, JWCC raised 2015 tuition and fees from $133 to $142 a credit hour. The bump amounts to an extra $288 a year for students taking 32 credit hours, which is a dollar amount increase that is in line with community colleges statewide. Regionally, JWCC’s average full-time in-district cost of $4,544 for next year compares favorably with public and private annual tuition and fees ranging from $10,000 to $25,000.
“A CNN Money report noting we are in the top 10 percent of community colleges in the country for student success shows that while we are much leaner, our student services and outcomes are strong,” Elbe said. “And the launch of our 2x2 online program has the opportunity to grow enrollment from outside our region,” Elbe said.
The 2015 budget document was posted June 16 and will remain on display for 30 days for public review. The budget will be formally adopted during the July board meeting, which will be held July 16 at the Pittsfield Education Center at 1308 W. Washington.