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Barton tuition going up
$4 hike comparable to other colleges

Meeting at a glance

Here’s a summary of Tuesday’s Barton Community College Board of Trustees meeting:
• Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman presented the Strategic Planning report. Marking Director Brandon Steinert said the college has begun advertising via Facebook in India and will soon begin using Google there, with the intention to increase online enrollment. Efforts in other countries that are open to social media may follow.
• Angie Maddy, vice president of Student Services, and Elaine Simmons, vice president of Instruction, presented a monitoring report on Academic Advancement. Many of the college's credits transfer to degree programs at Kansas Regent universities and Barton graduates who transfer have higher grades, for the most part, than those of students who transfer from other community colleges.
• Tuition and fees were discussed. The board voted to increase tuition by $2 and fees by $2, starting with the fall semester.
• John Solie was hired as a custodian on the Barton County campus and Ryon King was hired as a customer service representative at the Fort Riley campus.
• A 45-minute executive session was held for discussion of employees’ performance.

For the third year in a row, Barton Community College students will see a tuition increase this fall. The BCC Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved a $2 increase in tuition and a $2 increase in fees.
Most other Kansas community colleges have already raised tuition and/or fees and a $4 total is about average, said Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman. The increase at BCC is expected to generate an addition $81,734 in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19).
Resident and non-resident tuition and fees at Barton for 2018-2019 will be $112 per credit hour. Barton County residents receive a $7 per credit hour scholarship for classes not taken online.
Heilman recommended the increase now so that students can make plans for the fall semester. However, he said it’s still too early to know some of the key components of next year’s budget. He shared several considerations:
• Due to an increase in valuation of approximately $14.6 million (real estate and oil), Barton will see approximately $459,000 in additional tax revenue. This follows two years of approximately $950,000 less in tax revenue each year.
• The FY18 budget was set with a $1.4 million deficit with the college able to dip into cash reserves.
• Credit hour production declined last year and to date appears to be relatively flat for FY18. Growth of 1-3 percent is expected in FY19.
• The current cut is state aid of 4 percent ($316,601 for FY18) hasn’t been restored and reduced funding carries into FY19.
• It is unknown how K-12 funding will impact higher ed fuding.
• The state oil price that was $84 a barrel in FY 2014 is $46 this year (up $3 over 2017). Oil valuation was $62.5 million in 2014 and $23.3 million in 2017.
Of the 19 community college, 13 have raised tuition or fees for next year. Only Johnson County Community College has announced there will be no increase. Five others have not yet reported what they will do. “I anticipate the other five will increase,” Heilman said.
Heilman said the administration’s goal is to avoid seeking a property tax increase. The college also wants to take care of students and remain competitive.
“People do shop around but that’s not the determining factor,” Heilman said. This increase is expected to put Barton’s cost per credit hour in the top one-third of the 19 community colleges.
Chairman Mike Johnson and board member Gary Burke commented on the increase, which passed unanimously.
“We always hate to raise, but we’re still going to be competitive with our peer institutions,” Johnson said.
“I don’t think any of us ever look forward to having any kind of increase,” Burke said. Costs go up, which is why most of the college are increasing tuition and fees “to keep up.”