CLC trustees balk at tuition hike
Updated: March 18, 2013 9:42PM
GRAYSLAKE — Students have been granted a tuition-hike reprieve from College of Lake County trustees.
Following a lengthy discussion Tuesday night, trustees voted against a proposal to raise tuition and fees for fiscal year 2014, beginning July 1, 2013.
The college’s administration had recommended increasing the in-district rate from $112 to $115 per credit hour, the out-of-district rate from $259 to $266.75 and out-of-state rate from $342.50 to $353.
CLC President Jerry Weber said the administration had recommended the increase because of the expectation of state funding cutbacks and the impact of sequestration on federal grants the college receives. Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed budget calls for 5.21 percent in funding cutbacks for community colleges.
Board members acknowledged the budget pressures facing the college, but asked the administration to look for “belt tightening” measures to trim costs.
In a separate action, the board approved maintaining course fees at current levels for 498 courses for the 2013-14 year and approved fees on 46 new courses.
The board also approved continuing a $1 facility fee on tickets sold for events in the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts, and it approved a fee for “math repeaters”— students who enroll in the same math course after three previous attempts. The fee, $25 per credit hour, was approved as a pilot project. Along with the fees, “math repeaters” will receive advising and tutoring services to help them succeed.
Trustees also approved a notice to issue up to $60 million in general obligation bonds for facilities improvements on the Grayslake campus.
A public hearing on the bond issue will be held during the trustees’ regular meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. March 19 at the Southlake Campus in Vernon Hills. A resolution authorizing the actual bond sale will be considered at the April 29 board meeting.
The trustees approved a sustainable campus master plan in November 2012. The plan includes energy-saving repairs to aging infrastructure, a new science building and consolidated space for student support services on the Grayslake campus, as well as a major expansion of the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan.
The total cost of the master plan is $146.7 million, which officials said will be covered through several sources: College reserve funds, a student capital fee, the upcoming bond sale and a $19 million bond sale approved in January 2012.
“We need to make repairs to our aging heating and air conditioning system on the Grayslake campus and provide new buildings to keep our academic programs and services strong,” said Board Chairman Richard Anderson of Grayslake following the meeting.
The bonds will be repaid in 10- and 20-year increments. The shorter repayment schedule will save the college about $5 million in interest costs, according to David Agazzi, vice president for administrative affairs.
Additional cost savings should also be achieved through the college’s “AAA” bond rating, Agazzi said. The actual sale of the bonds is expected to occur in the fall, he said.