State tuition hike reaches CCC

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Students at the Clovis Community College will soon feel the effects of a statewide tuition hike. The Clovis Community College board of trustees voted Wednesday to increase tuition by 6.7 percent; an increase that translates to $3 more per credit hour.

“It’s not something we wanted to do, it’s something we had to do. And we will continue to work with students to ensure that financial issues aren’t a barrier,” said Beverlee McClure, president of Clovis Community College.

McClure said the two-year institution’s tuition increase is representative of hard times for colleges across the state. The state decreased higher education’s total appropriation by more than $2.5 million for two-year institutions. Clovis lost roughly $840,000 in state funding, according to school officials.

Because of the budget shortfall, it was necessary to review and adjust fees the college traditionally provided at no cost, McClure said.

“In some cases,” McClure said, “we lose money in an attempt to keep fees as low as possible. We have three areas where this is the case.”

The three areas McClure spoke of were GED testing fees, test proctoring fees, and distance education fees. The college will increase GED testing fees for non-students from $30 to $40; for non-students who wish for the college to proctor a test administered by another institution, a $25 fee will now be charged. In addition, students and non-students of the college who take classes online will now be charged $50, a $5 increase from current rates.

“It (fee adjustments) offset some of the problems the state created by not funding some of the things it usually does for the college,” said Russell Muffley, CCC board of trustee chairman.

The changes in fees, McClure and other officials hope, will help soften the affects of the budget shortfall.

Also approved at Wednesday’s meeting was a budget adjustment for the 2004-2005 fiscal year. The adjustment allows for increases in part-time faculty pay, institutional support, operation and maintenance costs, and revenues and expenditures for cultural events.