The Community College of Allegheny County trustees on Thursday unanimously approved a $104.9 million budget for 2011-12, which includes a "modest" increase in tuition and creation of a new student services fee.
The budget, which is about $1 million less than the current one, reflects some belt-tightening. But with the loss of $3.6 million in state revenue and an expected $1.6 million increase in contractual costs for faculty and staff, the trustees said, a tuition increase was unavoidable.
State Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, who serves as the board treasurer, said tuition for the school's 30,000 students would increase from $85.25 to $87.25 per credit, and the college's technology fee will go from $8 to $9 per credit.
It is the first tuition increase at CCAC in two years.
The board also instituted a student services fee of $1 per credit to "help ensure that students will have supplemental support to complete their education."
"We will do everything we can to continue to provide quality academic programs that are so vital to individuals in our community and our region," said Mr. Costa, who noted that the budget avoided layoffs. "We are asking students and their families to make an additional modest investment in this effort."
CCAC spokesman David Hoovler said the budget was made possible through cuts in operating expenses and a continued hiring freeze on most nonunion administrative positions.
CCAC president Alex Johnson praised the trustees for the spending plan.
"At a time when students still face significant financial hardship, it is important for the board to provide ... a certain level of affordability," he said.
Dan Majors: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1456.