The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Tuition increase mild, necessary

Going to school at TCC costs more now. In fact, owning property in Tarrant County costs more too.

On Aug. 29, the board voted to increase the tuition by $2 per hour and the taxes by 1.13 cents per $100 assessed property value.

The meeting was emotional, featuring an animated audience and a nervous-looking board. A total of five audience members formally voiced their disapproval to the board, and there were numerous interjections of negative opinions about the budget. That many TCC students and residents of Tarrant County would have a negative view of the budget is a fair assumption because they will all be paying a little more to the community college.

But before being outraged, students and residents should examine exactly how much more they’re paying per year. Two 12-hour semesters during the spring and the fall add up to paying $48 more in tuition. The median property value in Fort Worth is $80,640, and at 1.13 cents per $100, that adds on $9.11 in taxes. While the high end of the new tax can be in excess of $40, it is unlikely that TCC students own property in Ridglea Hills.

Combine those two averages, and it comes out to $57.11 a year. That’s not much.

Taking a broader point of view, students will see that school isn’t the only thing that has become more expensive. A meal that was $6 on NE last semester is almost $7 now. Gas stations aggressively broadcast changes in price, and the morning news always includes negative comments about the Dow.

The value of food, gas and education hasn’t gone up. The value of money has gone down. With less state funding than was expected and more students coming to TCC because of layoffs or lack of funds, the college is literally being asked to do more with less. Is less than $100 a year more really that surprising?

It makes more sense when what the money is going toward is taken into account. With the estimated $13 million, TCC will bring old buildings up to code and explore new buildings for more certificate programs.

These programs, such as the basic carpentry program on SE or the welding program on South, can provide students with credentials to get a craftman’s job with a higher rate of pay than an average college job. Students can then come back to college with a firmer financial standing to pursue a career.

When faced with raised prices and new taxes, the natural reaction is to say “no,” but more money had to come from somewhere. TCC has already cut spending on faculty and had the funding they receive from the state reduced. Raising taxes isn’t something that the college set out to do, but what else was there?

TCC, do what you need to do to make ends meet. You’re worth it. However, feel free to lower the prices back when you’re making a profit.

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