Sinclair hikes tuition and gives employee raises

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Sinclair hikes tuition and gives employee raises

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Max Filby/ STAFF
Sinclair board of trustees chairman Rob Connelly, left, sits with Sinclair president Steve Johnson, right, at a board meeting on Monday. Trustees approved a tuition increase on this week along with pay raises for faculty and staff.

Sinclair Community College remains one of the most affordable area schools, despite a tuition increase approved by trustees on Monday.

Sinclair’s board on Monday voted to approve the school’s $136.2 million budget for next year which included the first tuition hike since the summer of 2014.

Tuition will increase by $10 per credit hour, but that increase will be waived for people taking classes this fall. For spring 2018, Sinclair will waive $3 of that increase, meaning students would not see their tuition increase until next year and by $7 per credit hour, according to a resolution.

Sinclair’s tuition hike is contingent upon approval of the state budget, House Bill 49. If Gov. John Kasich signs the bill into law, it would allow colleges to increase tuition by $10 per credit hour.

The rate change means Montgomery County students will pay $106.03 per credit hour next spring, according to a resolution. Sinclair’s Montgomery County rate is not only the the lowest of any area community college but it is the lowest rate in the state, said spokesman Adam Murka.

“We are very, very cognizant of making sure we are still an excellent value for our students,” Murka said. “We take a great deal of pride in that.”

Montgomery County tuition is as low as it is because it is partially subsidized with $9 million from one of the college’s levies.

The 3.2 mill, 10-year levy generates around $28 million annually and expires in December 2018. Trustees on Monday took the first step to determine whether they will try to renew the levy but Murka said no decisions have been made on it.

Sinclair's president said the community college will award a record number of degrees and certificates this year.

Although Sinclair’s in-county rate is the lowest in Ohio, its out-of-county rate is a little higher than other Dayton-area community colleges.

Sinclair will charge out-of-county students $153.38 next spring. Clark State charges students $139.33 per credit hour while Edison State charges $140.62, according to each college’s website.

Edison State leaders are waiting to see if the final state budget will allow colleges to increase tuition before deciding whether Edison will, a spokeswoman for the college told the Dayton Daily News. A Clark State spokeswoman said the college’s trustees are discussing the possibility of a tuition increase and it could come up during a board of trustees meeting today.

Sinclair’s spring tuition increase would net the school around another $850,000 in revenue next year, according to the proposal. The money will go toward bettering “job pathways” and increasing advising, among other services for students.

Sinclair had just under 18,000 students enrolled last spring and the school has raised tuition 14 times since 1990, Murka said.

The tuition increase comes a few months after Sinclair announced it would increase its auxiliary fee by $35 along with individual course fees. Those increases got the school around another $1.6 million in revenue.

Sinclair’s board on Monday also approved pay raises for faculty and staff.

Full-time faculty will be eligible for a 2.5 percent raise and some could receive a “salary adjustment” based on promotions or individual performance, according to the approved resolution. Staff also will be eligible for a 2.5 percent salary pool raise based on performance and position while others could receive a “one time award” of 2 percent of their base salary, according to the resolution.

All part-time employees will receive a 2.5 percent pay raise, if the proposal is approved by trustees. All of the raises and salary adjustments combined will cost the school around $2.7 million more, meaning Sinclair will spend around $98 million on personnel.

Sinclair employs around 3,200 people, according to the college’s website.

“The things that were done today were about investing in our people,” said board chairman Rob Connelly.

By the numbers

Sinclair Community College’s board of trustees on Monday increased tuition for students attending the school and also approved pay raises for employees.

$10: Amount of money tuition will increase per credit hour.

$7: Total students will pay next spring under increased price tag per credit hour.

$106.03: New spring price per credit hour for Montgomery County students

$153.38: Price per credit hour non-Montgomery County students will pay next spring.

$850,000: Added revenue Sinclair will make from spring tuition hike.

$2.7 million: How much faculty and staff raises will cost Sinclair.

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