Earlier this month the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a tuition increase on the non-resident tuition fee for international and out-of-state students beginning in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which will generate millions of dollars in revenue per year.
While the registration and tuition fees will increase, the capital outlay fee will decrease, saving students a whopping $6 per unit. Capital outlay fees are the extra $35 dollars per unit that non-resident students pay, which covers the costs of infrastructure and wear and tear on the facilities.
Board of Trustees Vice-President Ross Selvidge spoke in detail about the proposal during the board’s Feb. 10 regular meeting.
“This was considered at the last audit and budget committee meeting and we went over the figure with the staff, and the committee recommended approval to the full board,” Selvidge said. “There’s a page in the proposal that shows what the non-resident tuition fees are for a number of other districts and we’re pretty much in the pack.”
The board confirmed that revenue from the increase would generate between $8 million and $9.5 million annually.
“That’s a big piece of our budget and that’s money that we can spend on anything, and it’s not a big change from last year,” Selvidge said.
The current non-resident tuition and registration fees include $195 per unit, $46 per unit and a capital outlay fee of $35 per unit. Under the new tuition structure, students will pay $211 per unit, $46 per unit and a capital outlay fee of $13 per unit.
Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs Cynthia Olivo and her staff prepared the proposal for the board.
“Essentially what we do is the business service area of the college receives a memo from the state chancellors office and based upon that we make our recommendation to the Board of Trustees subcommittee,” Olivo said. “We then look at … data for comparison colleges to help recommend our data to the board.”
The revenue from tuition and registration is invested into the overheard expenses related to providing education to the students. This provides instructors for courses, paying for the counseling services and other expenses incurred to provide an education. The rest of the funding remains at the college to help absorb any other expenses related to running the college.
Olivo explained the breakdown of where this money goes.
“The fact is, 87 percent to 89 percent of the colleges budget pays for employees and the rest remains for any of the other extras that we may need to provide students,” she said.
PCC student Thy Nguyen feels that due to the large amount of money paid by international students, some of the revenue should be spent on more programs for those students.
”International students pay a lot of money and the programs that we receive are not comparable to other schools,” Nguyen said. “I transferred from Washington State and I deeply feel like we pay a lot and we don’t receive much back.”
Nguyen would like to see international students receive priority registration privileges and a well-formed club and organization for student support.
Where exactly the increased revenue will be spent remains to be seen.
The PCC website states that the current non resident tuition is $193 per unit, which would come to a $4 per unit decrease but the board and Olivo confirm an actual $6 per unit decrease.