Board of Trustees approves $4 increase for tuition, fees


Lexi Grieder

AACC’s Board of Trustees approved a $4 increase for tuition and student fees. Shown, the Board of Trustees at a budget workshop on Feb. 21.

Sam Gauntt, Managing Editor

AACC’s Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday to raise tuition and fees by $4 per credit hour for the next semester.

The increase is part of the $134,475,700 operating budget for fiscal year 2024, which the board approved on Tuesday as well. 

The budget for next fiscal year is approximately 6.7% higher than the college’s request for the current fiscal year, and approximately 8% more than the Anne Arundel County Council approved for fiscal year 2023.

“The reason [for the tuition increase] is the guiding principle that we have for moderate tuition increases each year, versus going two or three years with no increase and then doing a large increase that’s inequitable,” Vice President for Learning Resources Management Melissa Beardmore told Campus Current. “Moderate increases, keeping pace with inflation, if you will. … We’ve been advised by students that that’s preferable to years with no increase, and then a big increase.”

Trustees also approved the 2024-29 capital budget which funds construction, repairs on campus, and renovations of buildings on campus such as Florestano and Dragun. 

The college gets its funding from state and county governments, and from tuition and student fees. The 2024 budget requests 40% from the county and 33% from the state, and assigns student fees and tuition to fund the rest.

In February 2022, the Board of Trustees raised tuition by $2 per credit hour for the current fiscal year.

The $4-per-credit-hour increase will cost full-time students—who take 30 credits per year—$120 per year, according to Beardmore. 

That will bring a full-time, in-county student’s tuition and fees, excluding lab fees, from $4,460 to $4,580 per year. 

As part of the budget, the college will raise in-county tuition by $2 per credit hour, and will increase student activity and athletic fees by $1 per credit hour each. 

Beardmore said the $1 increase for student activity fees and athletics will help sports and student organizations on campus. 

AACC President Dawn Lindsay, on March 1, will forward the proposal to the Anne Arundel County executive, who will share it with the County Council. Finally, Gov. Wes Moore must sign off on the state’s contribution to the college.

First-year transfer studies student Omar Hassan said the proposed tuition and fees increase is fine as long as it is “something that is actually benefiting people and clubs.”

“It doesn’t sound too bad compared to what it could be,” Hassan said. “I mean, it’s a public school, best one in the nation [and] still roughly cheap.”

Jakobe Walker, a first-year communications student, agreed the increase is “decent.”

“I think it’s cool if it’s just those slight increases … to support people in need,” Walker said. “It’s just a slight increase.”

Second-year kinesiology student Travis Peach disagreed.

“It sucks,” Peach said. “I don’t know why they have to change it.”

Associate Editor Tomi Brunton contributed to this article.