Tuition at East Central College will increase slightly next summer with the approval of a new facilities fee approved by college trustees Monday night.
The board voted 5-1 to implement a $5 per credit hour facilities fee to help maintain and improve campus buildings.
“While it is important that ECC remains affordable for students, it is also imperative that the facilities in which those students learn are kept safe, up-to-date, and appropriately designed and furnished,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, college president.
Students at all ECC campuses will pay the fee, which will be allocated to the location at which the credit hour is generated.
Bauer estimates based on 75,000 credit hours and fall semester enrollment, the fee would generate approximately $375,000 per semester.
He said 71 percent of the fees would come from the main campus un Union, with Rolla generating 20 percent, Washington, 5 percent, and Sullivan about 4 percent. Warrenton was estimated at zero.
Bauer said the fee will provide some flexibility as ECC addresses building needs.
“Funds can be used as they are generated, but could also build up over time for more significant projects,” he said. “This would provide a dedicated source of revenue which will prove essential as we plan for future projects.”
The actual revenue generated will vary by semester, according to enrollment, he noted.
Board Vice President Prudence Fink Johnson voted against the facilities fee.
“We have money from this campus right now going to Rolla and that’s pretty disingenuous, isn’t it?” Johnson asked Bauer. “We’re using local money to fund Rolla right now and you’re just trying to cloud it over, in my opinion, by taxing everybody $5 a credit hour.”
Bauer replied that Rolla does generate its own revenue with tuition and the facilities fee will be used only at the campus where the money is generated.