While taxpayers have been squeezed due to a down economy, Sinclair, which is heavily subsidized by taxpayers, raised tuition in Mar of 2014 to make up for falling tax revenue. Of course, shutting down operations in Warren and Preble counties- who don’t pay ANY tax, wasn’t on the table.
Nor was taking on debt to finance long term investment. Sinclair continues to operate debt free- without a mortgage of any sort, yet keeps expanding it’s footprint and expenses while the taxpayers bear the burden. Included in these extraneous rising costs is Sinclair providing non-degree courses to help train corporate staff for companies that receive tax breaks.
Full-time Sinclair Community College students will pay about $100 more per year starting during the summer semester, according to college officials.
On Tuesday, the Sinclair Board of Trustees approved increasing the tuition rates by $100 for in-state students. Out-of-state and international students will pay an increase of 2.9 percent or $240.
The increase breaks down to $3.33 per credit hour for Montgomery County residents, who will now pay $99.03 per credit hour. Other Ohio residents also will pay an additional $3.33 per credit hour increasing the amount to $146.28, according to information from the board.
“This is one of the most challenging issues we have to deal with,” said Trustee Robert Connelly. “We take it really seriously when adding any more burden to our students.”
Even with the proposed increase, Sinclair’s tuition for Montgomery County residents is the lowest in the state, according to information from the college.
Out-of-state and international students will pay an additional $8 per credit hour or $282.40 per credit hour.
The increases are necessary, according to the college, because of decreases in state and property tax levy funding. An additional reduction in levy funds of $1.5 million to $2 million is expected next year as a result of the county’s property revaluation process and it’s unclear how much state funding the school will receive.
“Our model is under stress,” Connelly said.
The increase is expected to generate about $1.5 million in annual revenue, according to information from the college. Even with that additional money, the college will be required to continue to look at “cost restraint, efficiencies and planned and judicious use of reserve funds,” the information said.
As part of the discussion, Sinclair President Steven Johnson spoke about the number of students who receive financial aid to help offset costs.
Of 33,867 students enrolled in the 2012-2013 academic year, 16,593 received some form of financial aid. Approximately $86 million in financial aid is distributed to Sinclair students each year.
Clark State will take tuition recommendations to its board in May, according to Clark State spokesperson Jennifer Dietsch.
Staff writer Meagan Pant contributed to this report.
The citizens of Montgomery County have never said no to a Sinclair tax levy. It’s time that Sinclair consider refocusing to Montgomery County or taxing Warren and Preble Counties.