Citing the need to remain close to its Nebraska community college peers, Southeast Community College’s Board of Governors on Tuesday voted unanimously to increase tuition by $3 per quarter credit hour. The new tuition rate of $54 per quarter credit hour will take effect in July.
The Board left fees at the current $1.25 per quarter credit hour, which means that tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 academic year, which starts with the Summer Quarter, will be $55.25 per quarter credit hour for Nebraska residents. Out-of-state tuition will increase $3.50 per quarter credit hour to a new rate of $66.50. Add the $1.25 per hour in fees and the new non-resident rate will be $67.75 per quarter credit hour effective in July.
Board Secretary Lynn Schluckebier made the motion to approve “Option 4” of six options provided by SCC administration.
“We need to stay close (in cost) to other community colleges,” Schluckebier said.
Continuing a long-standing practice, SCC administrators brought numerous tuition options to the Board for its consideration. Six options were presented, ranging from a zero-percent increase in tuition to a $5 per quarter credit hour increase.
Dr. Jack Huck, SCC president, also continued his practice of gathering opinions on the topic of tuition from various SCC groups, including the Student Senates on each of SCC’s Beatrice, Lincoln and Milford campuses. Huck shared those preferences with the Board prior to its vote. Two groups of SCC employees recommended Option 4, while all three Student Senates favored Option 3, Huck said. Had Option 3 been approved, tuition would have increased $2 per quarter credit hour.
“But I want to emphasize that this decision is yours,” Huck told the Board.
Prior to the vote the Board’s discussion included property taxes and part-time students’ ability to pay for college. State aid, property taxes and tuition are the three sources of revenue for the College.
“If the (assessed) valuation (in SCC’s 15-county area) goes up more, you may not see a property tax increase,” Board member James Garver said. SCC’s current property tax levy is 6.27 cents for every $100 of assessed valuation.
Despite the fact that only two of the other community colleges in the state have set tuition rates for the coming year, Huck told the Board that “no matter which option you choose, it’s very likely we will maintain the position of being the most affordable higher education option in the state.”
In another matter related to costs for the coming academic year the Board approved room and board rates for residence halls on the Beatrice and Milford campuses. In Beatrice the cost to live on campus will increase 4 percent, while the cost for students living in Milford Campus residence halls will increase between 3 and 4 percent, depending on room occupancy.