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CCAC increases student tuition, fees

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 11:30 p.m.

Students at the Community College of Allegheny County will encounter overall cost increases in the fall of about 10 percent for full-time students and 11 percent for part-time students.

CCAC's board of trustees unanimously approved the mix of tuition and fee increases Thursday to balance the $112.5 million budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The increases, the third in as many years, bump tuition to $99.75 per credit, up from $95.50 per credit, for part-time students. Technology fees will increase to $18.25 per credit, up from $12, and student service fees rise to $4.25 per credit, up from $2.

Full-time students — those taking 12 to 18 credits a semester — will have costs increase to $1,821.90 per semester, up from $1,656.15 per semester this year, under a flat-fee arrangement the college offers.

“This increase is necessary for CCAC to be able to continue to provide quality education in the face of flat funding from the commonwealth and a necessary adjustment from Allegheny County,” said board Chairwoman Amy M. Kuntz.

The trustees voted to give CCAC President Alex Johnson a 10 percent performance bonus of about $25,000, which he plans to donate to charity. Johnson is paid $250,454 a year.

He said the increases in fees and tuition were necessary to offset increases in contractual obligations, utilities and other costs. Johnson said the board held total budget increases to 2.7 percent.

But students at CCAC's North Side campus said they would struggle to cover the increased costs.

“It will hit me horribly right now because I'm going class by class. I'm trying to get into the nursing program, and I still have to take anatomy and physiology I and II and microbiology to qualify,” said Ashley Waugh, 22, of Gibsonia.

“Colleges do this because government pays for everything for so many students that they think they can raise costs and no one will notice,” said Michael Sullivan, 34, a CCAC honors engineering student. “It screws over people paying out of pocket, and that's what I have to do.”

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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