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franklin county times

MCC Board of Trustees avoids tuition increase

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 14, 2002
While Mississippi's eight public universities will raise tuition this fall, Meridian Community College is holding the line for the 2002-2003 school year.
MCC President Scott Elliott said Thursday the community college's board of trustees didn't believe a tuition increase was a good idea. MCC raised tuition last year $100 a semester.
The MCC Board of Trustees voted earlier this week not to raise tuition. The action came as part of the board's approval of MCC's $27.7 million operating budget for the next school year.
Elliott said a tuition increase would have placed a greater burden on the MCC Foundation's Tuition Guarantee program. The program allows any new graduate of a Lauderdale County public or private school to attend MCC at no cost to the student.
New budget
MCC's budget also includes a 3 percent, across-the-board pay raise for all employees. The board voted to dip into its cash reserves for the employee raises.
Elliott said the big news, however, was no tuition increase next year. The community college's tuition will remain at $1,200 a year, or $600 a semester, for full-time students.
Elliott and Pam Harrison, MCC's vice president for finance, said the tuition will remain unchanged even though the school will see its state funding cut $652,132 in the coming year.
Last year, MCC saw its state funds drop about $460,000. The year before officials saw it fall about $1 million.
Tight finances
Elliott said MCC "has done well in curbing spending over the last two years, cutting back significantly on equipment, supplies, travel and investment in extracurricular activities."
Local grants in recent years to MCC from the Riley Foundation and the Phil Hardin Foundation have eased the effects of the state budget reductions, Elliott said, letting the college expand and develop programs that would not have been possible otherwise.
MCC students will see an increase in some fees for the next school year, including a technology fee that will be $4 per credit hour.