PARIS - Paris Junior College Regents say a slight tuition increase approved this week will allow the college to continue to meet the needs of students and prepare for potential budget cuts from the Texas Legislature.
Monday’s approval means in and out-of-district students will incur a $3 increase and out-of-state students will pay $5 more per semester credit hour, beginning this fall. Officials say the tuition hike will generate $360,000 more in revenue annually.
“We’ve looked at tuition and fees, what the state might be doing next year, what our competitors are doing and where we are with the state average,” said PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin. “The increase would take us from $44 to $47 in-district, from $75 to $78 out-of-district, and from $120 to $125 out-of-state.”
An update was given on the federal student loan program. Due to federal requirements, PJC must offer both need- and non-need based loans. Combining the two, a freshman could end up with a substantial amount of debt in just one year. Most students are unaware of the severe penalties they face if they don’t begin repaying the debt six months after leaving school and some are under the false impression they can use the money for other purposes.
The default rate is increasing each year, and though PJC has no control over a student’s repayment, if the rate goes over 40 percent PJC would lose Pell grant funding. Because of that risk, PJC may have to cease offering federal student loans if the default rate continues the trend. Two programs where most students depend on loans to attend are nursing and jewelry.
In other business the Board of Regents:
· Heard a financial update from Vice President of Business Services John Eastman who said PJC’s cash position is good, tax revenue has picked up and everything is going smoothly.
· Voted to opt out of the state charitable contribution campaign. This allows funds collected locally to stay local and avoid paying a management fee.
· Approved an increase of 5 percent for Aramark meal rates, necessary due to rising gas and food costs. Individual meals will still be at or below $5.
· Accepted a change order to the contract with Balfour Beatty Construction for construction of a new entrance to the Administration Building. The increase was $135,470.
· Received an update on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Compliance Certification process. PJC has met the deadline to submit a compliance report.
· Cancelled the election for Board of Regents Place 5, as there was no opposition.
· The Regents approved reemployment of current full-time faculty for 2012-2013. Danee' Mitchell was approved as Advisor in the Upward Bound program and Kristen Irvin as Coordinator of Student Activities.