LOCKPORT – Niagara County Community College students will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets to pay tuition for the next school year, under terms of a 2014-15 budget approved by two County Legislature committees Monday.
The spending plan calls for an increase of $96 in tuition, a rise of about 2.5 percent to a total of $3,888 for a full-time, full-year student. A year ago, tuition also rose $96.
The county’s contribution to the college budget will not increase. For the eighth consecutive year, the county taxpayers’ contribution to the college budget will be frozen at $8.87 million.
The $50 million budget is $934,000, or 1.9 percent, higher than the spending plan for the year now ending.
Enrollment at the college is projected to rise about nine-tenths of 1 percent, President James P. Klyczek said. However, that expected total of 4,915 full-time equivalents is below the figure that had been projected for the school year that just ended.
“Our enrollment for the last few years has been trending down a bit,” said William C. Schickling, the college’s chief financial officer and vice president for information services.
He said the college has added $90,000 to the 2014-15 budget for additional advertising and marketing in hopes of rounding up more students.
About one-third of NCCC’s current student body comes from outside Niagara County, mostly from Erie County, Schickling said.
Klyczek said the Culinary Arts Institute in Niagara Falls is making up for a decline of enrollment on the main Sanborn campus.
The culinary center opened with 350 students in 2012-13 and increased enrollment by about 20 percent to about 420 for 2013-14. For the year starting in September, the college is projecting another increase, to about 510.
However, the proportion of Niagara County to outside students is the same at the culinary center as at the main campus, Klyczek said. He still believes that the Niagara Falls facility eventually will lure about twice as many outside students as Niagara County residents.
Outside students are a major factor in the NCCC budget, since outside counties have to pay the host college a “chargeback” for each of their residents that attend NCCC.
The figure for 2014-15 is projected as $4.85 million, or nearly 10 percent of the overall budget. The Legislature will hold a public hearing and likely vote on the budget next Tuesday.
In other measures, the Administration Committee approved a $10.36 million bond issue to borrow money for a $33.4 million package of road, bridge and building projects approved by the Legislature on May 6.
County Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews said the term of the bonds will be 15 years at an estimated interest rate of 2.9 to 3 percent. He said the county will have to pay back $865,000 a year for the next 15 years.