The presidents and chancellors of Missouri’s community colleges have agreed to ask their boards of trustees to keep tuition increases at or below $5 a credit hour for the 2011-12 school year, even though Governor Nixon recommends a 7 percent increase.

The MCCA sent out a press release making the announcement today:

“Affordability is one of the greatest strengths of our state’s community colleges,” said Missouri Community College Association chairman and Ozarks Technical Community College president Dr. Hal Higdon. “This year, community college tuition is about a third as expensive as public university tuition. We think that our relatively low cost, together with the high quality of the programs we offer, has led to the dramatic enrollment increases community colleges have experienced.”

 College leaders had anticipated budget cuts of 10 percent to 20 percent for the upcoming fiscal year, MACC states. To offset those cuts, most colleges initially planned tuition increases well above $5.  Higdon credits better-than-expected budget news with his colleagues’ decision to seek lower tuition. 

The presidents and chancellors will make their recommendations to college boards of trustees, which have final authority to make decisions about tuition. 

Missouri’s community colleges are governed by locally elected boards of trustees.  The colleges work together to advance common agendas through the Missouri Community College Association, or MCCA.