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Higher ed costs go higher
by Bill Clough
Apr 20, 2012 | 1152 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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BEEVILLE — Tuition at Coastal Bend College is going up 5 percent this fall.

The CBC board of trustees unanimously approved the hike at its regular meeting Thursday evening.

Interim President Dr. Jimmy Goodson told the board the 5 percent increase equates to an additional $3 across all categories: basic tuition, out-of-district tuition, dual credit, Internet courses and registration.

The increase is to partially counter a $1.6 million shortfall in the 2011-12 budget that based its revenue on a student enrollment of 4,200.

However, the college’s enrollment is 3,800.

“Given what we are asking, and what the results will be,” Goodson told the board, “I think we will be in good shape. We will remain competitive.”

Privately, Goodson credits — or blames — the lucrative employment demands of the Eagle Ford shale oil boom for CBC’s lagging enrollment.

As an indication of the influence of the oil boom on CBC, at the same board meeting the agenda included a report on the college’s customized and continuing education activity for the last six months.

While most of the subjects generated contact hours measured in the hundreds, introduction to petroleum industry courses, offered at the Alice campus, were measured in the multiple thousands.

Next year’s budget, still under development, will be based on the current 3,800 enrollment.

Goodson told the board he believed the proven long-term economic benefits of a college education will maintain the current enrollment.

The board also noted the ironic timing of the increase.

“We are asking students to pay more while at the same time the state is pressuring us to enroll more students,” the president said. “It’s a double-edged sword.”

In a continuing effort to cut expenses, CBC will spend the next three months formulating next year’s budget. Although board members are confident next year’s budget will reflect increased expense cuts, Goodson says extra revenue still will be necessary.

Therefore, the tuition increase approved Thursday evening will remain.

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