By Valerie Morris
and Drew Scofield
Tuition at Lorain County Community College will increase in Summer 2013 by $3.50 per credit hour. The Board of Trustees voted for the increase during their meeting Jan. 24. Starting in the summer, students will be paying around $92 more each year. Despite the tuition increase, LCCC has the third lowest tuition in the state of Ohio.
The tuition increase is a response to funding issues the school has faced in recent years. Declining property values and decreased state share of instruction are two of the factors that contributed to the tuition hike.
“Over the last two years, Lorain County Community College has made nearly $8 million in cuts,” said Dr. Roy Church, president of LCCC. “We are constantly looking to do more with fewer resources. We have reduced staffing, condensed offerings, increased work schedules, eliminated equipment purchases and streamlined programs and processes.”
Andrew Rindfleisch, a Business Administration major through the University Partnership with Kent State, agreed with the decision to raise tuition. “The college is expanding to different areas and the increase will not financially hurt the students. It will provide better resources that the students will need as well as additional services,” said Rindfleisch.
Others were not so quick to agree. Photography major Elizabeth Page said the news about the tuition increase made her worried. “I am fearful that since it is going up, it will continue to go up every year,” said Page. “It may scare future students off as tuition rates add up over time.”
Since 2000, LCCC received 20 percent less state funding per student, but experienced rapid increase in enrollment. The tuition hike is one way to counter this decrease in funding.
“We can’t sacrifice our delivery of a quality education. We must continue to develop and deliver programs students need in order to compete for new jobs in a transitioning economy,” said Church. Some of these programs include the University Partnership, enabling students to pursue a four-year degree without the cost of a university. There are also numerous certification programs, aimed at providing students with the training and technology they need to gain jobs in the community.