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College board approves tuition increase of $13
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – At its April 17 meeting, the Portland Community College Board of Directors approved a 29 percent tuition increase, effective summer term (starts Monday, June 23), to help with the 2003-04 budget.The budget contains program and position reductions as well as the tuition increase of $13 per credit hour. This brings tuition to $58 per credit hour. Of this increase, $1 will go into a financial aid fund to help students with financial needs. In May, the Multnomah County Tax Supervising Commission will hold a hearing on the budget and the PCC Board will consider adopting it in June.The $58 tuition fee falls into the mid-range of the state’s 17 other community colleges, who all anticipate charging between $55 and $61 per credit hour. Also, PCC’s Community Education tuition rate will increase by 50 cents a contact hour (14 percent) to $4 and Continuing Education will increase by $1.90 (50 percent) to $5.70. Other increases include non-residents and international students paying $185 a credit hour (up from $175) and border residents of Washington, Idaho, Nevada and California now will be charged $68 per credit.Due to the state budget shortfall, support to PCC for the upcoming biennium has been substantially reduced. For a full-time student the annual tuition will be $2,610 a year as compared to $2,025 this year (totals exclude student activity and technology fees). The anticipated general fund shortfall for the fiscal 2003-04 budget is $9.4 million. Due to these factors, the college must increase tuition to balance the budget.There will be another state revenue forecast on Thursday, May 15, and community colleges will not be given a bottom line budget figure for some time. "We are continuing to talk to our legislators about the need in the community for community college education, and pressing them for increased revenue to enable us to meet these ever-growing demands for our service,"said PCC President Jesus "Jess"Carreon.