Tuition Unchanged, Application Fee Eliminated in New Budget

(Bradenton, Fla., July 5, 2007) - At its regular meeting held in June, Manatee Community College (MCC) district board of trustees approved a $40.6 million operating budget, up $2.7 million from last year's budget of $37.9 million, that leaves tuition at last year's level and removes a new student application fee for U.S. residents.

"The community college system experienced a difficult year because of shortfalls in state revenue and Gov. Crist's veto of the Legislature's 5 percent tuition increase, but MCC fared better than average overall because of our enrollment growth and performance rewards," said MCC President Dr. Sarah H. Pappas.

MCC is one of only two, out of 28, Florida community colleges to experience steady growth during a period when many colleges have seen their enrollments decline. 

MCC received a 6.7 percent increase in state funds, or $1.5 million, compared to the average increase of 5.7 percent. Another $1.2 million will come from projected enrollment growth.

Approximately 59 percent of revenue for MCC's operating budget comes from the state, and remaining funds come largely from student fees and tuition. MCC's 2007-08 tuition rates will remain at the 2006-07 levels of $69.69 per load hour for in-state residents and $256.95 for nonresidents. In an effort to remove barriers to first-time-in-college, low-income students, the college eliminated a $40 application fee previously paid by U.S. residents and implemented a $10 documentation fee per term for all registering students. The $75 application fee for international students will remain in effect.

"MCC continues to represent tremendous value when compared to state universities, private colleges and even community colleges in other states," noted Dr. Carol Probstfeld, MCC vice president for business and administrative services.

The approved budget supports student advising and student success, distance learning, expanded recruitment of future teaching and nursing students, and other strategic plan initiatives. Five new positions include a faculty member in philosophy at MCC Venice and in English at MCC Bradenton, an MCC Venice resource officer, a scholarship coordinator and a Web communications and publications manager.

State Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) and Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant Program funds, which are separate from the general operating budget, will allow $1.7 million for the Music-Theatre Building construction; $1 million for the MCC Lakewood Ranch Medical Technology and Simulation Center planning; and $3.8 million for collegewide general renovation and remodeling.

MCC's fiscal year operates from July 1 through June 30. The budget approved by the district board of trustees will be effective July 1, 2007.


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