Student tuition item in budget

Roxanne Ready, Editor-in-Chief

The college’s budget for the 2019 fiscal year may include a tuition increase.

The operating budget—which includes funding plans unrelated to buildings and facilities—will go before the Board of Trustees on Feb. 27 for approval.

Tuition has increased by $3 per credit hour every fiscal year since 2014.

Vice President of Learning Resourses Management Melissa Beardmore said multiple small increases over the years helps to avoid less frequent, larger increases, which she said are harder on students.

“We’re constantly looking at where we can save money,” Beardmore added. “[The board] takes affordability [for the students] very seriously.”

According to Beardmore, about one-third of the college’s funding is supposed to come from the state, with the other two-thirds coming from the county and from student tuition and fees.

But, she said, she can actually meeting that goal.

“The intention [of] the state funding community colleges is [to] keep tuition affordable,” Beardmore said. “Unless something changes at the state level, we will have to look to our county … and to tuition and fees to make sure that we can continue to offer our students the services that they need.”

“As long as the books don’t go up,” said second-semester nursing student Kenneth Cresswell. “[Or if tuition went up] a couple hundred dollars per class—then we’d have problems.”

The goals of the new budget will be much the same as last year’s, according to Beardmore. The 2018 fiscal year Annual Budget Report, released in October 2017, emphasized student services, such as counselors, professors and tutors.

Once the Board of Trustees approves the proposal, the county executive must act on it by May 1. Then it moves to the Anne Arundel County Council, which has until June 16 to approve or reject the budget.

“As somebody who has to pay for classes, [tuition increases are] annoying,” first-year childhood education major Amanda Murphy said. “But I also know things aren’t always free. The money’s got to come from somewhere.”