Board Approves 2.8 Percent Tuition and Fees Increase

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Facing continued uncertain state funding, a relatively frozen property tax revenue base, increased insurance/utility/salary costs and other challenges, the College of DuPage Board of Trustees at its regular Feb. 20 meeting authorized a $4 tuition and fees increase effective fall 2014 semester.

The $4 increase raises tuition and fees from $140 per semester hour to $144 for in-district students and from $327 to $331 for out-of-district residents.

“Choosing to increase tuition is not an easy decision and never one taken lightly,” said College of DuPage President Robert L. Breuder. “However, in generating revenue to pay for the operation of this institution, we are limited by a local tax cap, dwindling state funding and by the economy as a whole.”

The Board approved a $1 tuition increase and a $3 increase in fees: $2 for obligated debt service and $1 for student activities so all students have free access to the PE Fitness Center.

College of DuPage President Robert L. Breuder said the College is not alone, citing recent increases at Elgin Community College ($13), College of Lake County ($12) and Oakton Community College, where leaders recently approved a two-phase increase of $7.91 and $8 for the 2014-2015 and S015-2016 academic years, respectively.

“It has been this administration’s belief that incremental tuition increases are easier for our students to handle than holding back until a double-digit increase is necessary to play budget catch up,” Dr. Breuder said. “This strategy has worked. College of DuPage is seeing semester after semester of stellar enrollment at a time when nearly all other community colleges in the state are experiencing flat or drastic declines in enrollment.”

The College’s net 10th day credit headcount (full- and part-time students) for the spring 2014 semester reached 28,100, up 1 percent from last spring. Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment climbed 1.8 percent for spring to 15,626 students. This follows a fall 2013 semester that saw the College’s net 10th day credit headcount soar 9.4 percent over fall 2012, while FTE enrollment climbed 7.6 percent.