Ferriday vo-tech faces tuition increase this fall

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 5, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Tuition at Louisiana Technical College’s Shelby M. Jackson Campus will likely go up $25 a quarter starting in November, said Director Ray King.

&uot;It’s not an end-of-the-world thing, but it will have an effect on the people we serve,&uot;&160;King said Monday.

Tuition at the Ferriday campus will probably stay at $105 a quarter for the fall semester, which starts in August.

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But Louisiana Technical College’s board, which governs all 42 campuses statewide, is considering raising tuition by $25 a quarter.

If the board chooses to do so, tuition at the Ferriday school would rise to $130 a quarter beginning with the winter quarter, which will start in November. While that may not sound like much of an increase, King said his school’s students can least afford the change. &uot;You have to consider the people we serve,&uot;&160;said King, whose school had 800 students, including 190 full-time students, at last count.

People typically served by the Shelby M. Jackson Campus have included laid-off workers, single parents, high school dropouts and inmates, he explained.

&uot;Generally, these are people who are in need – who have run into rough spots in their lives – and who are wanting to get into the workforce as soon as possible,&uot; he said.

In addition, the school is located at the heart of a parish that, with persistent double-digit unemployment, seeks to recruit industries that need trained workers.

And until eight years ago, Louisiana’s public technical colleges charged no tuition at all, with the state taking on the expense of training technical and vocational workers.

&uot;The state established these school, then known as trade schools … in the ’30s as a safety net for these individuals,&uot;&160;King said. &uot;It was an investment Louisiana made in its people.&uot;

Incoming board chairman Kevin McCotter

of Shreveport told the Associated Press last week that revenue from the tuition increase would be directed to the classroom. It comes at a time when state funding to the technical college system has been cut $640,000 for next year.