WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College’s Board of Education unanimously approved tuition and fee increases during Wednesday’s meeting that will take effect Summer 2019.
UCC Chief Financial Officer Natalya Brown recommended an in-state tuition increase of $4 per credit hour. Currently, the tuition at UCC is $97 per credit, below the statewide average of $102.
Tuition at the community college in Winchester has increased every year since 2014. Tuition in 2008 was $63 per credit for in-state students.
Tuition for out-of-state and international students will also increase by 4 percent.
Board member Betty Tamm made a motion to increase the facility rental fees by up to 2 percent, more than the proposed 1 percent.
“That’s the one that doesn’t impact our students, so that’s the one to increase,” said board member Doris Lathrop during the discussion.
Making the motion to increase it “up to 2 percent” leaves it up to the discretion of college administrators, to find out how much the facility fee can increase and still remain competitive with other facilities in the area.
Other fees that will be increased will impact students. The student fee will increase by $1 per credit hour to help with tutoring, the online course fee will go up $5 per credit, and the instructional fee will increase by $3 per credit hour.
Brown said the online course fee has not increased since 2008.
The two-year college gets funds through property taxes, state allocated funds, tuition and fees, and miscellaneous revenue.
More than half of the school’s funding comes from the state, and just two percent from miscellaneous revenue. Tuition and fees make up 29 percent of the general fund and property taxes account for 17 percent of the general fund.
A delegation of 17 colleges asked the state for a $787 million budget. However, the proposed budget by the ways and means co-chairs was $590.6 million on March 7, a figure which could change before a final decision is made in the end of June.
This created a challenge for UCC as financial decisions need to be made before the state budget is released. The proposed budget would leave UCC with a $953,000 deficit in the first year of the next biennium and a $1,339,719 deficit the following year.
“Whatever action is taken will happen after our budget is approved,” board chair Steve Loosley said. “Us getting more (state funding), the odds are just not very good.”
The tuition increase is estimated to generate $258,228 in revenue, and the fee increase is expected to generate $180,000. UCC will also need to reduce expenses by $500,000.
“Next year, we’re going to have to look at other things,” Loosley said. “Next year, please bring us other options.”