The college’s board of trustees unanimously approved a tuition increase for next year at Tuesday night’s meeting.
For the 2011-12 school year, all students (in and out of district) will see an increase of $3 per credit hour in tuition costs. The price will change from $64 to $67 per hour.
“We know the cost of education continues to rise,” said Dr. Thomas Baynum, CBC president.
In addition to the per-hour increase, registration fees for students will rise to $45 from $40.
“This is a one-time fee each semester,” Baynum said. “It’s been a number of years since we’ve increased the registration fee.”
One of the biggest changes in student costs will be the institution of a “three-peat” fee. This is a fee that will be charged to students enrolling in a course they have already taken twice.
Baynum explained that CBC gets no formula funding when students take a particular class more than two times.
The “three-peat” fee would increase the cost of the course to equal out-of-state tuition for that class.
“The point is, if we charge them at the out-of-state level, hopefully it will dissuade students from taking courses more than once,” Baynum said, explaining that some students repeat courses to get higher grades, and therefore, higher grade point averages.
“Three-peat” charges are far from unique to CBC.
“This is new to CBC, but we’re one of the last colleges in Texas to implement the three-peat,” Baynum said.
Along with the tuition and fee increases, next year the college will begin passing on fees charged by credit card companies to students using that method to pay tuition and fees.
Again, this is common practice among many colleges and universities, Baynum said.
Dormitory fees will increase from $850 to $900 per semester.
Increased dorm prices are intended to make needed improvements for residents, such as new furniture.
“The dorms are woefully underfurnished,” the president said. “We need to invest $40,000 to $50,000 in furniture.”
However, the CBC dorms have no problem attracting residents.
“I can tell you we’re doing very well in the dorms,” Baynum said. “Occupancy is higher than it’s ever been,” at around 85 percent.
The increase in price for next year would result in $25,000 more, based on the number of students paying to live on campus right now. That is not counting scholarship students who do not pay to live in the dorms.
Baynum said the college has taken in more than $447,000 this year already from paying residents. That number will increase in the summer, as dorms have 100 percent occupancy through the Upward Bound program, which is federally funded.
“It’s been a very good year for us,” the president said.
Still, the increases in tuition and fees are necessary, Baynum said, in order to keep the college steadily moving forward.
He said all of the new increases amount to a seven percent increase overall. Most Texas colleges, he said, are looking at increasing by 12 percent or more.
“If we only have to increase by $3, from what I’ve read about other colleges, we’re doing very well,” said Carroll Lohse, board vice chair.
And, of course, there is always room for adjustment.
“If we find that we’ve totally missed the ballpark here, we can still raise tuition for the spring (2012),” Baynum said.
Sarah Taylor is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or sarah@mySouTex.com.