BRENTWOOD - Suffolk Community College is looking to increase tuition by an extra $200 a year to make up a shortfall that includes a revenue loss from a drop in enrollment.
The school is facing $14 million shortfall, including a $5.5 million revenue loss.
Jim Morgo, chairman of the college’s budget and finance committee, says students are getting a bargain even with the increase. Morgo also says the committee essentially had no other choice but a tuition hike.
“It's painful,” says Morgo. “We only have four sources of revenue: tuition, state aid, county aid and use of our reserves.”
Though the county has agreed to a 2.5 percent increase in funds to the college and state aid will also rise by nearly $2 million, Morgo says those numbers still fall short of what both the state and county should be paying to cover costs.
“Statutorily, the state is supposed to give 40 percent; they're giving about 26 percent of the overall budget,” says Morgo. “The county is giving about 23 percent. They should be giving about 26.7.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Legislature will vote on the proposed budget in June. If approved, the tuition hike will take effect by the fall semester.