Tuition, fee increase affects out-of-district students most heavily

Photo by Zach Stebbins

In an effort to recover from the budget cuts, AC opts to raise tuition and fees

By Vanessa Garcia

At Amarillo College this fall, fees increased by $3 per semester credit hour and tuition increased by a $4 per hour, a total of $7.

Together, tuition and fees increased from $62.75 to $69.75 per semester credit hour.

“We had to make up the remainder of the state shortfall by asking our students to pay a little bit more,” said Joe Wyatt, communications coordinator.

Fees increased because the Texas Legislature decreased its state distribution to AC by about $3.2 million this year, forcing AC to cut back.

“Almost every community college in Texas raised costs this year because the state cut their funding,” Wyatt said.

“We also made cuts in several areas that have saved a great deal of money in salaries. We have 41 fewer people working here than we did last year at this time.”

AC also had to cut back on supplies and capital purchases.

Fees also increased for out-of-district students this fall. Tuition and fees have increased from $84.75 to $105.75 per credit hour.

Kirstie Smith, a vet technician major, said out-of-district fees are her least favorite of all the fees because they have increased significantly. She said she used to live out-of-district.

Wyatt said student fees go into the general fee fund, which is used to cover the general cost of doing business.

“AC remains affordable at a cost that’s average among the state’s community colleges, and it continues to offer quality,” Wyatt said.

“Last year AC had its largest fall enrollment in history; this year we’ll come very close to that same enrollment.”

“And $69.75 for a semester credit hour of public higher education is a heck of a bargain you will be hard pressed to beat. In fact, it’s a heck of a deal.”

“It’s hard having to wait for money and books,” said Tyler Williams, a mass communication major.

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