Tuition decrease saves taxpayers 5 percent

Emily Lorenz, Staff Writer

College of Dupage board of directors passed the Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) budget plan on Sept. 28th, dictating that tuition for all COD students, starting in the Spring 2016 semester, will be $5 less. This means that the price per credit hour will go from $140 to $135, saving the average part time student roughly $60 per semester.

From 2011 to 2015, COD has collected $126 million dollars from taxpayers and students paying tuition. All of the money being brought into the school was based off of estimate numbers of what the school thought they would need to stay open and running to the highest standards, “creating fluff in the schools budget that was unnecessary,” stated Kathy Hamilton, chairwoman of the board, during the last September meeting.

This lowering of tuition also means that COD will rank lower in a state wide price comparison with other schools. COD was the eighth highest priced school out of community colleges in Illinois, compared to Harper college in Palatine, Illinois, whose annual tuition ia $4,391, and compared to Spoon River College in Canton, Illinois annual fee of $5,440. After this decrease, it will be tied for 10th with two other schools.

The board also plans to give a 3 percent pay increase to all COD workers “across the board.” Doctor Joseph Collins, interim president of COD, feels that even though there will be cuts, none will make an impact on any aspect academically that COD has to offer its students. What will be cut has still not been determined.

Hamilton states that the board aims to have as much public involvement as possible, and plans to keep the public taxpayers informed as to what their money will be going towards. According to the board’s research, by cutting tuition by $5 a credit hour, it will cut property taxes by over four million, or about 5 percent, for the taxpayers.

The board made a 33 percent cut to COD’s deficit, bringing it down from $16 million to $11 million. The board plans to use the funds in COD’s bank account, which currently holds over $200 million, to “help protect ourselves from Springfield’s impasse,” stated Hamilton during the meeting.