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Kishwaukee College plans for financial future

MALTA – Kishwaukee College students may see an increase in tuition costs for the next few years.

The school’s decreasing revenue projections for the next five years was the main topic of discussion at the Board of Trustees’ special meeting Friday.

“We’re going to have to operate this college on less money for the foreseeable future,” said Rob Galick, vice president of finance and administration at the college. “There’s no way around it.”

Galick said the school’s revenue comes from three main sources: property taxes, tuition and state funding. Assuming the school’s enrollment numbers remain constant and the college raises tuition by $8 a credit hour and the technology fee by $1 a credit hour next year, the school will still come up short, Galick said.

While Galick said the college could control tuition, it can’t continue to raise it significantly every year. The increasing costs would impact enrollment.

“There’s only so much you can do,” he said.

Galick projects tuition and fees, which currently bring in about 40 percent of revenues, will make up more than half of their revenue in fiscal 2018.

“Students will be paying more and more of the way in order for us to operate this college,” said Galick.

Kishwaukee College President Tom Choice said the community college system has been state-funded at the same level since 2002. But that shouldn’t stop them from trying to grow from the current enrollment of 7,696 students.

“We have to prioritize what little resources we have,” he said.

Assistant Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness Kevin Fuss said the school needed to market themselves in the most cost-effective ways possible.

The board’s student representative Gladys Sanchez suggested using current students to market the school to area high schools, which many board members supported.

Financially, Galick said, the college is doing well with their limited funds compared to other community colleges in the area.

“We are significantly on more solid ground than most,” he said.

Regardless of the smaller budget, Choice said the school can’t lose focus on the big picture.

“We are in the business of providing education and services to students in our community,” said Choice. “And everything we do should be done with that in mind.”

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