UPDATE: Local community colleges on potential tuition increase

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina community college leaders could decide to let schools bump up tuition.

Presidents of the 58 colleges weighed in at a board meeting Thursday in Raleigh. WNCT learned those present decided to table the issue until later this year, likely in the fall.

Community colleges strive to prepare students for high-demand jobs in our state in areas like healthcare and manufacturing, but training for these fields requires lots of expensive equipment. Many community college leaders say they’re struggling to collect the necessary funding. Student tuition is the latest option they’re exploring.

The proposal still up for debate would tack a surcharge of up to $256 a year onto full-time tuition, which is currently more than $2,400.

If approved, each college could decide whether or not to add the surcharge.

WNCT sat down with some local college presidents who are criticizing the proposal.

As for Pitt Community College, President Dennis Massey says he’s against it.

“It’s becoming more and more challenging. You know, costs are increasing, student enrollment has flattened here, it’s not continuing to grow at the rate it was in the past. So I can certainly see the point-of-view of people who say we need more resources, but I don’t think putting it on the backs of students is a good idea,” Dr. Massey said.

Lenoir Community College President Brantley Briley says the funding should come from legislators, not students.

“They’re the people that we’re going to put a surcharge on, because we cannot secure the funding through other avenues for our equipment? It’s just wrong,” Dr. Briley said.

Community college tuition has increased about 10% since 2012.

 

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