Chemeketa approves tuition proposal, keeps costs low

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Chemeketa approves tuition proposal, keeps costs low

12:41 a.m. PST February 18, 2016

Chemeketa Community College’s Board of Education unanimously approved the 2016-2017 tuition proposal Wednesday evening, keeping tuition the same for the fourth year in a row.

This vote keeps Chemeketa the lowest cost community college in Oregon.

Each year, according to the college’s recent tuition proposal, the college reviews student tuition as part of the budget development process. January is the traditional time when the tuition recommendation is first brought before Chemeketa’s board, according to the proposal.

“Each year the college balances the need for revenue to maintain levels of service with student access and enrollment priorities,” according to the proposal.

In the 2015 session, the Oregon legislature appropriated $550 million to all community colleges, according to the proposal, which is an 18 percent increase from the previous amount of $465 million.

The 2015-2016 budget currently in place was built using a state appropriation of $535 million, instead of the $550 million received, which allowed the difference in the state’s resources to be carried over to 2016-2017 and impact tuition rates, according to the proposal.

After a review of the college’s projected financial position for this year and next – which assumes no change to the current state distribution model – administration recommended no increase in further tuition or universal fee for 2016-2017, going into affect in the summer of 2016.

Chemeketa’s current tuition rate is $80 per credit hour for in-state students. Tuition for out-of-state and international students is $242 per credit.

The school’s annualized in-district tuition and universal fee rate are the lowest among the 17 community colleges in the state, according to the proposal and Chemeketa spokesperson Greg Harris.

Harris said the college’s budget applies to all campuses.

The college is the first in the state to approve its tuition proposal this year. Harris said another college could approve a lower cost tuition proposal, but it is unlikely.

Julie Huckestein, president of the college, said she thinks this is the right thing to do now, but believes there will most likely be an increase next year, based various elements, including recent economic forecasts.

npate@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6745, or follow on Twitter @Nataliempate or http://www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist

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