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updated: 2/27/2013 4:56 PM

MCC board set to approve $3-per-credit-hour tuition hike

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McHenry County College trustees are poised to approve Thursday a $3-per-credit-hour tuition price increase.

In a report to the college board, President Vicky Smith said tuition makes up about one-third of operating revenues. With a projected $1.41 million gap in the next fiscal year, she recommended the tuition increase.

Students pay $99 per credit hour so the new rate -- $102 -- reflects an increase of about 3 percent. Even with the increase, Smith noted, MCC will still offer classes below the average among Illinois community colleges.

Trustees first discussed the proposal Feb. 19 with most board members favoring a $3 increase over no increase or a more expensive tuition hike.

Smith's report said the increase would generate $356,653 and the rest of the budget hole would be filled by cost-cutting and pulling from the college's savings.

"I don't think anybody likes to raise the tuition because of the way the economy is right now and the struggle to make ends meet in a lot of households," said board President Mary Miller, "but we also need to be able to pay for the programs we offer."

The board also discussed a tuition increase schedule for subsequent years but Miller said trustees chose to take it one year at a time to keep the college accountable and as fiscally responsible as possible.

"We're very cognizant of how expensive college is so we're really trying to keep it in check," Miller said.

McHenry is not the only community college to increase tuition. Elgin Community College trustees voted Jan. 22 to increase tuition for next year by $4 per credit hour. The new rate is $109 per credit hour and will take effect during the summer 2013 term.

MCC's hike will also take effect this summer.

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