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MGCCC board raises tuition, fees

PERKINSTON — At the May 19, meeting of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) board of trustees, a 27.78 percent full-time tuition increase, or $250 per semester, was approved in addition to course lab, program fees and meal plan adjustments.

MGCCC increased tuition for the fourth time in the past decade as community college legislative appropriations have declined since 2001 from 47.85 percent of the budget revenue to only 34.06 percent.

Tuition for full-time students (12-16 hours) will increase from $900 to $1,150. Additional course and program fees will also be calculated in the total cost to attend. Furthermore, students will pay $115 per credit hour above 16 hours in addition to full-time tuition. There will be no increase in residence hall or book rental fees, and a five-day meal will be offered as an option to the seven-day meal plan with a 2.5 percent increase. Scholarships and financial-aid changes will also have an impact on students in the 2010-2011 year. Eligible students are encouraged to contact the campus Financial Aid Office or the college web site for specific changes and more information.

“Major reductions have significantly affected the budget resulting in many difficult decisions during the past few years in regard to tuition increases, program consolidations/closures and reductions in personnel,” said President Willis H. Lott. “It has become apparent that inequitable funding across the educational continuum will present unprecedented financial challenges that could potentially cause the fate of the institution to change dramatically.”

In the face of skyrocketing enrollment of 15 to 20 percent in the 15 community colleges in the state, it appears that two-year colleges have been targeted for larger funding cuts than public universities or the K-12 system. For the first time in the spring 2010 semester, MGCCC reached pre-Katrina enrollment levels. College officials project continued enrollment growth with more than 11,000 students expected for fall 2010.

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