News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: January 20, 2004 (04-09)
Contacts: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952; Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970

Montgomery College Seeks Modest Increase in FY 2005 Budget Request
Lean $151 M, Tax-supported Budget Aims to Keep Pace with Enrollment,
Limit Tuition Hikes

Montgomery College’s Board of Trustees this week sent the County Executive a modest fiscal year 2005 operating budget request that aims to keep pace with enrollment demands, support operational costs for the College’s new health sciences center, and limit the amount of next year’s proposed tuition hikes for students, despite back-to-back years of state funding reductions for the college and continued shortfalls in the County’s revenue stream.

The proposed $151.4 million tax-supported portion of the FY 05 budget marks only a 4.1 percent total increase over that of the current FY 04 budget and the overall request of $176.5 million, which includes all funds – including self-supporting units of the college, such as Workforce Development and Continuing Education – marks only a 3.3 percent increase over FY 04.

As proposed by the Trustees this week, the College’s budget would include a tuition increase for the next academic year of $3 per credit hour for in-county students, $6 per credit hour for in-state students who live out of the county, and $9 per credit hour for out-of-state students. The current tuition rates for each of these groups are $86 (per credit hour), $177, and $236, respectively. Students also pay a variety of fees, in addition to tuition. On average, a full-time student who takes 15 credits a semester and lives in Montgomery County currently pays nearly $3,400 annually for tuition and fees. Final tuition and fee rates for the next academic year are not set until May, when the College’s budget has gone through the County process and is ultimately adopted by the Board of Trustees.

“We have worked very carefully to craft a bare-bones budget that takes fully into account the continued fiscal challenges that are facing our County and State,” said Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, president of Montgomery College. “Having said that, we are continuing to see rapidly growing numbers of high school graduates coming through our doors and if we are to going to be able to continue to maintain our hallmark, as a community college -- of providing affordable, accessible higher education -- we need additional resources to do so.”

“Montgomery College has taken significant steps to reduce spending and trim costs,” said Gene Counihan, chair of the Montgomery College Board of Trustees, “but back-to-back years of state funding reductions have certainly placed enormous strains on our ability to meet the demands of continued enrollment growth. We all know this is going to be another very difficult budget year and this budget reflects the difficult choices that had to be made. Our responsibility is to ensure that we continue to provide our students with the high quality education they have come to expect from Montgomery College and we’re confident that the County Executive and Council will recognize that this budget aims to do so in the most prudent way possible.”

The College’s proposed FY 2005 operating budget would allow for the addition of 10 new faculty members and nine new facilities staff members. No new programs or initiatives were included in the funding request, unless supported by alternative funding sources, such as grants.  More than 60 vacant staff positions have not been filled, as part of an overall budget savings plan.

Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, and workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and now, in Silver Spring, with the opening later this month of the Giant Food Center for Business Training in the College’s new Health Sciences Center on Georgia Avenue.  The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through a combination of credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study. 

Additional background on Montgomery College’s FY 05 operating budget request, as well as the current approved FY 04 approved budget, are found on the College’s web site at: www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/budget.

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