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News Release

Community College Trustees Approve Tuition Increase

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

CONTACTS: Alice Kirkpatrick at (207) 767-0116 x 3
(207) 767-0116 x 4; akirkpatrick@mccs.me.edu

AUGUSTA , Maine – Faced with a projected $2.3 million shortfall next year, trustees of the Maine Community College System voted today to increase tuition by $4 per credit hour, from $74 to $78 per credit hour for in-state students. The increase means full-time students will pay an average of $120 more in annual tuition, or $2,340, this coming academic year.

Tuition for out-of-state students will increase by $4 as well, from $155 to $159 per credit hour, for a total of $4,770 in tuition for a full-time student.

"We take this action with great reluctance, as we know that even a modest increase has a very real impact on the students we serve," said Joanna Jones, Chair of the Board. "State funding has simply not kept up with the rising cost of operating our colleges, and we are left with little choice," she said.

MCCS President John Fitzsimmons said that some staff reductions may be necessary, even with the tuition increase. The tuition hike is projected to generate an additional $1.1 million, leaving the system with a projected shortfall of $1.2 million.

"We’re holding out hope that the Legislature will find some additional resources before the session ends, to minimize the impact on our colleges," said Fitzsimmons. "Our enrollment is up 42 percent in three years — which is unparalleled in Maine — and we’re serving those additional students with the same number of staff and faculty," he said. "I sincerely hope that some additional funds can be found. This enrollment growth is important progress for Maine , and will reap benefits for our economy," he said.

Also at the meeting, Trustees established the Dr. Patricia M. Ryan Memorial Scholarship which will be awarded each year to a student enrolled in York County Community College ’s Associate Degree Nursing program. Dr. Ryan worked tirelessly to bring a nursing program to YCCC. Thanks to her fundraising efforts, and funding provided by the Governor and Legislature in the supplemental budget, the program will begin this coming year.

Trustees also established the Brian C. Thayer Memorial Scholarship in recognition of Mr. Thayer’s dedication and commitment to students served by the community college mission. Mr. Thayer served as a trustee for nine years.

In other action, Trustees approved a request from Washington County Community College in Calais to discontinue a one-year certificate program in Health Career Preparation.

Also at the meeting, a nominating committee was appointed to recommend new Board officers for the upcoming year. Also, trustees approved their meeting and events calendar for 2006-07.

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