County funds AACC budget


Steve Buissine/Pixabay

Student tuition goes up by $3 per credit hour this semester for the sixth year in a row. Anne Arundel County approved its part of AACC’s funding over the summer.

Alexandra Radovic, Contributor

The Anne Arundel County Council in June approved AACC’s annual budget for fiscal year 2020.

The budget includes $47,087,700 in operating funding from the county, an increase of $3 million over last year.

The increase fell $1 million short of the college’s request to the county, which agreed to fund $47,087,700 of AACC’s operating budget of $155,460,700. The operating budget pays for activities unrelated to buildings and facilities.

Tuition and fees will cover $38,511,000 and the state will offer $29,744,000. Remaining costs will be covered largely by federal and state grants and also by VLT Impact Aid funds, which account for local video lottery revenue.

The college announced last semester that it would raise student tuition by $3 per credit. Tuition has increased by $3 per credit hour every fiscal year since 2014.

AACC’s Vice President for Learning Resources Management Melissa Beardmore said small tuition increases over multiple years allow the college to avoid less frequent, larger spikes, which she said are more impactful on students.

The council also approved AACC’s capital budget at $49,194,000 to account mainly for construction of the Health and Life Sciences Building on campus, which is underway.

County Councilmember Amanda Fiedler, who represents District 5, said she “sees the county continuing their increased commitment as we have in the past. … I do hope the strong relationship between the county and community college continues.”

She added: “I understand [AACC’s] enormous value to our community. [It] offers continued education to a diverse student body.”

AACC is located in Fiedler’s district.

Beardmore said she is happy with the county’s budget approval.

“This budget continues funding through previous reallocations for ongoing student success initiatives,” Beardmore said.  “These critical activities are improving our outcomes, such as the record number of graduates this past year, and achieving our strategic plan goals.”