Tuition will likely go up next school year at Clackamas Community College from $84 to $87 per credit hour.
“Right now we are looking at a $3 per credit hour increase,” said CCC Board of Education chairperson, Greg Chaimov, who represents zone 1 encompassing the Milwaukie area. “We don’t like raising tuition.”
State appropriations for community colleges are projected to go down due to changes in the economy and less state revenue according to CCC vice president for college services Jim Huckestein.
According to Chaimov, there were years when state support went down and the college made staff and program cuts in order to avoid raising tuition. “We’ve cut away so much fat, we’re at bone,” Chaimov said.
In fact the college has raised tuition 55 percent in the past decade, up from $54 per credit hour in 2004-2005 school year to $84 per credit hour now.
Efforts to secure more funding from the state are underway and while the local Clackamas community has made CCC a priority by approving a bond measure, the state has neglected to do so Chaimov said. “We are only now, almost a decade later, close to the level of funding provided before the ‘Great Recession.’”
Student Miranda Johnson voiced concern saying, “I don’t understand why we are raising it [tuition], didn’t we just get a giant bond?”
Bonds, or loans taken out by the state that are paid back by taxpayers, are used for buildings and construction projects and not operating budget expenses such as faculty, classifed or administrative salaries. For these reasons, the passage of the bond is for the most part unrelated to the projected tuition increases.
If approved, a $3 per credit hour increase in tuition would raise the cost of a four credit class from $336 to $348 per term for in-state students, not including other fees. Huckestein said the “board makes an annual decision on what the tuition rates will be.”
Associated Student Government will be conducting forums before the CCC Board of Education vote. Dates and times will be announced.