GARDEN CITY - The Nassau County Legislature voted last night to approve a $258 tuition increase at Nassau Community College (NCC) and slash 40 teaching jobs.

As a result of the tuition increase, students will be paying $3,990 a year to attend the community college effective next year.

College officials say the increase was needed to make up for a cutback in state aid of $138 per student per year, as well as to reduce their budget deficit.

"Last year, the state cuts were $285, and when we built our budget this year, we assumed they'd have some reinstatement of the $285, and it never came about," says Nassau Community College President Donald Astrab.

Tuesday's vote split legislators within party lines, with some Democrats such as Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) approving the tuition hike, while others rejected it.

Today, students were divided on the magnitude of the tuition increase, but all agreed that it will not deter them from completing their education.