MCCCD Governing Board To Vote On Tuition Increase

April 22, 2014

Students within the Maricopa County Community College system could be facing another tuition increase.  The college district board is scheduled to vote on a proposal Tuesday night that could raise student costs by $5 per credit hour.

If approved, the tuition increase would add about $12 million to the budget.

Tom Gariepy, spokesman for the district, said the additional funding will support improvements in several areas including student success and academic programs. About $7 million of that budget is also promised to the institution’s IT department, which has been working to fix a security breach in its student information system along with other upgrades.  

"In order to properly secure that and to upgrade the software to the state that it needs to be, we need additional money to accomplish that," Gariepy said.

He added that tuition increases are not something that board members take lightly, but says they have been a necessity as state funding has decreased. In the last nine years, the Maricopa County Community College district has raised tuition three times.

Brian Muñoz is a student at Phoenix College, one of the schools within the community college system. He says any cost increase would force him to make his limited financial aid funding go farther.

"Consider the students, and not just the money-wise," he said. "We’re just trying to get an education, we’re poor as it is."

The board will also be voting on a 2 percent tax levy increase in May, which could provide the system an additional $8 million in revenue.

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, part of the Maricopa County Community College District.