For much of last year, Angelina College officials say they struggled to find ways to off-set the funding that was lost due to budget cuts. They say raising tuition and fees is not something they wanted to do. But at this point, they say it's the only option.
"This tuition and fee increase was simply needed for operating costs related to instruction. Teachers, teachers salaries, supplies, and so forth to maintain a quality we've had throughout the years," explained Angelina College President, Dr. Larry Phillips.
For students who live in Angelina County, tuition will increase from $21 per semester hour to $25. Students who live outside of Angelina county will now pay $40 per semester hour, an increase of $8 per hour. Tuition for out-of-state students will go up the same amount and will now be $68 per hour.
The tuition hike comes at a time when the college is seeing steady growth. Sluggish economic times have led to many job layoffs and some of those people are choosing to continue their education. Dr. Phillips says he does not expect the increase in tuition to have a negative effect on those prospective students, because of the amount of financial aid that's available.
"We do have a large number of our students, almost two-thirds, on financial aid. And we have many ways, Federal, state and local programs. But they need to get in touch with our financial aid office very early, by the end of April, middle of May, if they plan to attend in the fall," explained Dr. Phillips.