BATAVIA – Genesee Community College is responsible for $130 million in the region’s economy and helps create hundreds of local private-sector jobs, GCC President James M. Sunser said in the college’s annual report.
GCC, which began 46 years ago in a former chain discount store with a few hundred local students, has grown to a sprawling campus with a technology building, athletic fields, student housing and a record enrollment of 7,200 students – an increase of nearly 10 percent in five years.
The report features statistics that illustrate why GCC has been highly praised in the state, with a variety of academic programs, rising enrollment and low costs.
Figures show that three of four students come from other counties, most from three neighboring counties sharing GCC’s six campus centers.
Other counties – notably Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston – pay more than $5 million in charge-back fees for residents attending GCC classes.
The charge-back fee is based on a complex formula with several factors, including tuition, and it can cost a rural county more than $1 million a year. However, some are seeking a change in a state law that established the charge-back system.
The enrollment is evenly divided between full- and part-time students, with women commanding a 63 percent to 37 percent edge. The college also has 130 international students, a GCC record, and 65 students from other states.
GCC’s annual budget is $35 million, with nearly half going to instruction and staffing.
Genesee, as sponsoring county, pays $1.9 million, and state aid accounts for $10 million. An additional $4.2 million was secured in grants last year.
The college has expanded in academic diversity with 29 associate degree programs. Half the students are in the liberal arts and science curriculum. Its fastest-growing program is nursing, with 283 students based in a new facility.
The GCC Foundation, totaling more than $3 million, provided 542 scholarships last year and helped finance the newest addition, the Roz Steiner Art Center.
GCC also boasts more than 21,000 graduates.
In “real dollars,” Sunser added, GCC offers “tangible growth to our local families, businesses and industries.”