BRANCHBURG, NJ – Faced with declining enrollment and increases in contractual costs, the Raritan Valley Community College Board of Trustees has approved a tuition increase of $7 per credit for students from Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

Tuition will increase to $144 per credit for the Fall 2016 Semester. For the average full-time student taking 30 credits during the academic year, tuition would increase by $210. For an average part-time student taking 12 credits during the academic year, tuition would increase by $84.

The budget now goes to the Board of School Estimate for approval at its meeting on May 26, at 10 a.m., at the Hunterdon County Administration Building, Flemington. The Board of School Estimate includes two freeholders from Somerset County, two freeholders from Hunterdon County, and two members of the RVCC Board of Trustees.

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The fiscal year 2017 budget totals $53.1 million, a 2.2 percent increase from the current year. Tuition and fees comprise 63.1 percent of total revenue. The budget anticipates local and state aid as follows: 24.9 percent from Somerset and Hunterdon counties, and 11.4 percent from New Jersey.

“The new budget carefully balances Raritan Valley Community College’s commitment to keeping the cost of a college education within reach for our students, while still providing them with the critical support services and quality instruction they need to succeed and thrive in today’s competitive world,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough. “Before asking students to pay more in tuition, we carefully examined spending and identified $500,000 in cost-savings through employee retirements and attrition,” McDonough added.

“We recognize that the counties of Somerset and Hunterdon face their own fiscal challenges and appreciate their ongoing support for the College and commitment to keeping college tuition affordable for residents,” McDonough said.

A number of factors are contributing to the fiscal challenges facing the college, including a projected decrease in enrollment due to a decline in the size of the local high school graduating classes; contractual increases in employee healthcare and other benefits; and level funding from the State of New Jersey and counties of Somerset and Hunterdon, according to the college president.

Out-of-county and out-of-state residents will pay $179 per credit hour; the board grants a waiver of $35 per credit to students who provide verification of employment in Somerset or Hunterdon Counties.

RVCC Online Courses & NJ Virtual Community College Courses will cost $185 per credit.

Hunterdon/Somerset senior citizens, minimum age 65, pay no tuition, but are responsible for related feed, books and instructional materials. Seniors are limited course per semester on a space available basis and may register during the 5 business days prior to course start. New Jersey National Guard and Reserves, Volunteer Emergency Medical Personnel and Firefighters and September 11 victims’ families are also eligible for free tuition with stipulations.

The Board agreed that in the event additional funding is received, it will be applied to the reduction of tuition.

The Board also approved a $3.2 million major capital budget and a $750,000 minor capital budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Some of the major components of the capital budget include:

-·  $600,000 for the Workforce Training Center

-  $550,000 for renovating the College’s upper walkways and plaza areas

-·  $450,000 for expanding the Visitors Parking lot

-·  $400,000 for replacing the main computer server

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ.