CLINTON — The Eastern Iowa Community College Board of Trustees on Monday voted to approve a $3 increase in tuition for the upcoming school year at its meeting at Clinton Community College. 

The board unanimously approved to raise the tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students. Students in state, who currently are charged $137 per credit hour will be charged $140 per credit hour. For students not from Iowa, tuition will be raised from $204 per credit hour to $207 per credit hour. Despite having an increase in tuition, EICC Chancellor Donald Doucette noted that they have low tuition when compared to other colleges. 

“This will still make us the lowest cost tuition of any place in the state of Iowa,” Doucette said. “We continue to raise our tuition at slower rates than even the rest of the community colleges who all charge somewhat higher than we do, in some cases substantially higher.

Doucette called the approach “prudent.” He said that instead of raising tuition all at once they are attempting to raise tuition a little at a time. He also noted that while tuition is being raised, the budget is being cut, calling it a “mutual effort.” 

“It really must also be noted that although we’re raising tuition we’re also substantially cutting our budget,” Doucette said. “And so we’re operating on both sides of the equation. We’re reducing expenditures. At the same time we’re making modest increases in tuition.”

According to Doucette, part of the problem with generating revenue is a declining enrollment for the community colleges. EICC has seen revenue drop due to declining enrollment at the colleges. However, he said that the enrollment has not dropped as much as they had feared and says due to strategically using the enrollments and funds they do have, they will be able to remain under budget. 

“Revenues are down because of declining enrollment,” Doucette said. “But they’re not down as much as we could have feared. And we’re doing a better job of generating revenue from the enrollments that we do have and our expenses have risen much below budgeted. And that, as a result, we’ll be able to balance the budget.” 

Herald Staff Writer John Rohlf can be reached at jrohlf@clintonherald.com.

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