Tuition freeze reached at Champaign college

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – Tuition at a Champaign community college will not go up next year.

The Parkland College board told The News-Gazette it was “aggressive” in how it handled finances in recent years, setting up a tuition freeze for the 2018-19 academic year. The rate for in-district students will remain at $164 per credit hour. It will also stay the same for out-of-district students ($370/hour) and out-of-state/international students ($529/hour).

The school hasn’t seen a tuition freeze since the 1992-93 year. At that point, the paper says Parkland charged $33 per credit hour.

The News-Gazette reports the school had to compensate for falling funding from Illinois due to state budget issues. With no change in property taxes, tuition had to go up to make up the difference.

The newspaper says lawmakers raised the school’s support to $4.4 million this year, a number that’s still far lower than the full one-third of funding they used to expect the state to cover.

>>Related: U of Illinois president proposing in-state tuition freeze

Parkland leaders looked at a budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year that would leave them with a $16 million balance at the end of it. The newspaper says that budget is down $500,000 from the number they think they’ll hit on June 30, 2018.

One board member told the paper the school expects state funding to be 50 percent lower each year at this point, but believes it can stay operational because of the board’s strong financial work.

Parkland leaders say they need more students. The News-Gazette reports enrollment numbers dropped by 4 percent in 2017-18, leaving them with about 8,000 students this year.

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