RVCC Passes Budget that Reduces Operating Costs, Increases Tuition

Faced with the prospect of declining enrollment and increases in contractual costs, the Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) Board of Trustees last night passed a $53.1 million budget for FY 2017 that reduces operating costs and raises tuition. “The new budget carefully balances Raritan Valley Community College’s commitment to keeping the cost of a college education within reach for our students, while still providing them with the critical support services and quality instruction they need to succeed and thrive in today’s competitive world. Before asking students to pay more in tuition, we carefully examined spending and identified $500,000 in cost-savings through employee retirements and attrition,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough.

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“We recognize that the Counties of Somerset and Hunterdon face their own fiscal challenges and appreciate their ongoing support for the College and commitment to keeping college tuition affordable for residents,” President McDonough continued. A number of factors are contributing to the fiscal challenges facing the College, including a projected decrease in enrollment due to a decline in the size of the local high school graduating classes; contractual increases in employee healthcare and other benefits; and level funding from the State of New Jersey and Counties of Somerset and Hunterdon. Under the budget, tuition would increase $7 per credit for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents. Tuition would be $144 per credit for the Fall 2016 Semester. For the average full-time student taking 30 credits during the academic year, tuition would increase by $210. For an average part-time student taking 12 credits during the academic year, tuition would increase by $84. The resolution also stipulated that in the event additional funding is received, it will be applied to the reduction of tuition. The $53.1 million budget approved by the RVCC Board of Trustees, which represents a 2.2% increase over last year, is based on no increase in operating support from the State of New Jersey and the Counties of Somerset and Hunterdon.

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The budget anticipates funding for the operating budget would come from the following sources: Tuition and fees 63.1% State of New Jersey 11.4% Somerset and Hunterdon Counties 24.9% Other (investments, rentals, etc.) .6% (Auxiliary services are not included in these figures) The Board also approved a $3.2 million major capital budget and a $750,000 minor capital budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Some of the major components of the capital budget include:  $600,000 for the Workforce Training Center  $550,000 for renovating the College’s upper walkways and plaza areas  $450,000 for expanding the Visitors Parking lot  $400,000 for replacing the main computer server The budget now goes to the Board of School Estimate for approval at its meeting on May 26, at 10 a.m., at the Hunterdon County Administration Building, Flemington. The Board of School Estimate includes two freeholders from Somerset County, two freeholders from Hunterdon County, and two members of the RVCC Board of Trustees. Following is a list of the new tuition rates approved by the Board and effective for the Fall 2016 Semester: Fall 2016 Tuition Schedule Hunterdon/Somerset County Residents $144 per credit Out-of-county residents (Board grants a waiver of $35 per credit to students who provide verification of employment in Somerset or Hunterdon Counties) $179 per credit Out-of-state residents $179 per credit Early College Program $200 for all courses taken at participating high schools; regular College tuition and fees apply to all courses taken at the main campus and Bridgewater. RVCC

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Online Courses & NJ Virtual Community College Courses $185 per credit; no fees charged. Hunterdon/Somerset Senior Citizens minimum age 65. One course per semester on a space available basis. May register during the 5 business days prior to course start. No tuition assessed; $35 administrative fee. Course books/materials extra cost. Audit status, no credit awarded. NJ National Guard & Reserves Free tuition for up to 16 credits per term for individual only; fees apply. Volunteer Emergency Medical Personnel and Firefighters Free tuition for up to $600 per year and $2,400 lifetime per family of volunteer; fees apply. September 11 Victims’ Families Free tuition for children and spouses of victims; fees apply Media contact: Donna Stolzer 908-526-1200, ext. 8383 Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium. RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.