Students at East Central College will see a modest increase in tuition and fee rates for the upcoming fall semester.

Students at East Central College will see a modest increase in tuition and fee rates for the upcoming fall semester.

ECC trustees unanimously approved the increases at their March 4 meeting.

Tuition for in-district students will increase $4 to $75 per credit hour. Out-of-district students will pay $106 per credit hour, which is $5 more than the current rate.

Tuition for out-of-state students will go up $8 per credit hour to $160, while the tuition rate for international students climbs $9 per credit hour to $173.

ECC was able to hold the line on tuition for six years, with increases made in 2011 and 2012.

"The increases will enable the college to continue to provide the quality and breadth of programs and services that our students need," said Dr. Jon Bauer, college president. "No increase in tuition or fees is taken lightly. We are committed to being affordable for students, while at the same time providing outstanding quality."

The new tuition rate for out-of-district students is a 4.9 percent increase over the current $101 per credit hour charge. Students who reside in-district will see a jump of 5.6 percent from the $71 per credit hour amount currently charged.

General fees will also increase from $10 per credit hour to $14. That $14 is broken down into $3.50 for support services, $5 for technology and $5.50 for student activities. General fees had not risen since 2002.

"The increase in general fees will enable the college to keep up with expenses now incurred for student activities as well as enhance security at the main campus and satellite locations," Bauer said. "This will also help us address pressing technology needs, especially updates and enhancements to our student information system."

Many of the students who take classes at the facility in Rolla reside outside the college district. Those out-of-district students will pay an additional $300 if they enroll in 30 credit hours for the academic year.

Bauer noted that even with the increases, the rate of tuition and general fees will remain the lowest of any institution in Missouri.

Revenue from the tuition increase is expected to generate approximately $320,000 in the general fund.

"We should see an increase in state aid this year," said Bauer. "Some growth in local tax revenue is also likely."

This year ECC has an operating budget of $18 million. State aid accounts for 26.3 percent of the money coming into the college. More than 33 percent comes from local tax revenue and student tuition and fees account for almost 39 percent of the revenue.

The final budget and staffing plan will be presented to the board in May. Bauer noted that there are several critical staff needs to fill and he would like to see a modest salary increase for employees since no raises were given last year.

Fee additions, modifications

Fee additions associated with a number of classes will also go into effect for the 2013 fall semester. Many of the new fees or fee increases cover or defray the cost for assessment or skills testing, required screenings or professional liability insurance, or program and facility costs.

Other revisions are attributed to costs for course specific materials or software. In several instances a course fee collected by ECC covers costs which are subsequently distributed by the college to appropriate agencies due to program accreditation or certification.

Jean McCann, vice president of instruction, noted that new fees will go into place next fall for the EMT/paramedic program, primarily to cover drug screening and background checks for students.

Five nursing classes will have a $15 increases in lab fees to offset some of the additional costs of providing clinical simulations in the nursing lab. McCann noted that the nursing program continues to manage the growing problem faced by programs across the country in shrinking clinical opportunities in local hospitals.

Students enrolled in several precision machining classes will also see an increase in fees in the fall. The program is accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills. As part of its accreditation standards, the program provides opportunities for skill level testing and specific certificates that recognize the skills students attain as they progress through the program.

Fees additions and revisions were also approved for classes in culinary arts, physical education, accounting, business technology and health information management.