March 26, 2013
BENTON TOWNSHIP, MI – On Tuesday, the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees approved an increase in tuition for in-district students of 4.8 percent, effective with the 2013 Fall semester. Changes include a $4 per contact hour increase for in-district students to $87, a $6.50 per contact hour increase of out-of-district students to $134.50, a $10.50 contact hour increase for out-of-state students to $179.50, and a $12 per contact hour increase for international students to $197.
The Board also approved a one dollar increase each in the general academic fee to $14, facilities and technologies fees to $13 each, and the Student Senate Campus Fund from one dollar to three dollars for Napier Avenue Campus classes.
“Raising tuition is always a difficult decision,” said LMC president Dr. Robert Harrison. “But, if we offer students the tools, information, and resources they can use to help pay for and plan their education, we can hopefully reduce the impact on students. Even with this increase, Lake Michigan College remains the most affordable option for students to get the education they need to compete in today’s economy.”
To help offset tuition costs, the College expects to have an increase in the number of privately funded scholarships and Lake Michigan College Foundation endowment allocations, expand a fund for military veterans and their immediate families, and continue a Summer Boost program to help students who have run out of Pell Grant funding for the year pay for summer classes.
According to Harrison it is encouraging that there appears to be a slight increase in state aid and a leveling off of health care costs, with the exception of those additional employees required to be covered under the Affordable Care Act provisions. However, those positives are more than offset by continuing maintenance issues related to aging buildings and equipment, and a lack of capital outlay funds to help offset the costs of major projects.
At the same time Harrison noted that it is imperative that the College continue to invest in new program offerings for students and keep existing programs current with employer expectations. Examples of these initiatives are the energy production baccalaureate program that the College is developing, as well as the Certified Medical Assistant program, truck driving school, and culinary degree that will debut this fall, and a new student gathering space for students that will built.
“With the average cost of a bachelor’s degree at Michigan’s public four-year universities approaching and often exceeding $100,000, many students are priced out of a college degree,” stated LMC Board Chair Dr. David Maysick. “Lake Michigan College, like community colleges across the nation, is high-value, high-quality access point to higher education.”