Co-Lin tuition to rise starting in fall

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017

NATCHEZ — The price of an education at Copiah-Lincoln Community College soon will rise.

The Co-Lin Board of Trustees announced Monday plans to raise student tuition and fees in response to state funding cuts.

Beginning in the Fall 2017 semester, tuition for full-time students will increase $205 to $1,400 per semester. Part time tuition will increase approximately $20 per semester hour to $140 per semester hour.

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Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles said the tuition increases are necessary after the Mississippi Legislature cut funding to the state’s community colleges by $28 million or approximately 10 percent.

“We don’t want to (increase tuition and fees), but in order to keep providing the service, training and instruction our students deserve, we need to do this,” Nettles said. “We will still be among the bottom third of the community colleges in tuition and fees in the state.”

Since July 2016, Gov. Phil Bryant has made four budget cuts, including reducing the funding to community colleges by approximately $770,000.

“We adjusted to those cuts by reducing spending, freezing vacant positions and using our limited financial reserves,” Nettles said.

Nettles said all of the state’s 15 community colleges are considering tuition increases.

In addition, a new fee will be assessed for select career and technical programs. The new fee will be $50 for some programs and $75 for higher-cost programs.

“These instructional programs are effective and have high job placement, but they are expensive to operate,” Nettles said. “The fee will help offset the expenses.”

Other fee increases include a $15 technology fee increase, a $5 student services fee increase, a $25 fee increase for dual enrollment and $10 increase for online courses.

Nettles said the board also asked school budget managers to cut budgets by 14.3 percent for the upcoming year.

“We will spend less money in travel, utilities and commodities,” Nettles said.

The budget reductions will not be easy for some departments, Nettles said, and the impact will be evident to students and faculty.