College of DuPage raises tuition by $1 per credit hour

College of DuPage officials have approved a $1-per-credit-hour tuition increase that will take effect in the fall.

Board members at the Glen Ellyn-based community college voted Thursday night to increase tuition to $136 per credit hour for in-district students. That amount includes fees.

Officials said the school's first tuition increase since 2014 is needed to better keep pace with inflation.

"The college is fortunate in its strong financial condition, which has allowed us to hold the line on tuition and fees for the last several years," board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi said in a statement. "Understanding the importance of affordability for our students, we cut tuition $9 a credit hour in 2015 while still maintaining a balanced budget.

"This modest $1 increase keeps tuition reduced overall while addressing the long- and short-term needs of the institution," she said. "The board approves keeping the overall budget in balance."

The in-district tuition was $144 per credit hour in fiscal 2015. Since that time, the board has voted twice to decrease tuition a total of $9 per credit hour to $135. Tuition remained flat the past three consecutive years.

The tuition increase is expected to generate an estimated $500,000 in additional revenue.

"We all have shared interest to ensure that our students have access to a high-quality and affordable education at College of DuPage," COD President Ann Rondeau said. "As we continue to enhance the lives of each and every student, I am pleased with our ongoing commitment to maintain a modest tuition increase that will help the college to maintain quality at affordable prices."

Tuition and fees represent 24 percent of COD's revenue base, according to Brian Caputo, vice president of administration. Another 32 percent comes from property taxes.

"Gradual increases will be necessary to keep up with our operating costs and inflation while navigating a downward enrollment trend that is impacting schools across the nation," Caputo said.

The operating budget for fiscal 2019 doesn't need to be approved until the end of June. But because fall registration starts next month, trustees had to set tuition rates for that semester.

COD's proposed budget is expected to be made public in May. The board will hold a public hearing before voting on the final budget in June, with fiscal 2019 beginning July 1.

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