Heartland Community College’s Board of Trustees are considering an increase to tuition and fees beginning next fall as a result of a recent deficit in the college’s budget that is projected to continue next year.
The proposed tuition increase would be $5 for each credit hour, said Doug Minter, vice president of business services, adding that the college will first request student and staff feedback before making any decisions.
“Then we take all that and wrap that into our grand budget picture and try to arrive at a recommendation that everybody, students and staff, believe is reasonable, and bring that to the board for action,” he said.
Heartland students will be asked to refer to the quality of the education they have received and tuition and fee costs from previous years when determining whether the increase is fair, Minter added.
The current rate for Heartland’s tuition and fees per credit hour is $153. A $1 per credit hour increase would create an additional $100,000 in revenue, based on a 100,000 credit enrollment each year, according to Illinois radio station WGLT.
A $5 increase per credit hour would create an estimate $500,000 surge in revenue.
According to beginning spring enrollment data, the college is 1 percent below past estimates at only 43,500 credits. It’s possible that those numbers could change before being finalized in February, however, an enrollment decline of 1 percent would create a $200,000 loss in revenue.
The board has also announced the creation of a new president’s task force that will focus on capital planning, revenue sources and reserve uses. The task force includes faculty members, students and two board members.
The president’s task force’s first report isn’t due until the fall, however, Minter said the task force will additionally focus on Heartland’s biennial technology and capital funding report.