Crowder College, including the Cassville Campus, will increase tuition rates for the 2011-12 school year. Earlier this year, Governor Jay Nixon recommended all Missouri community colleges increase tuition by $5 per credit hour.
"Our tuition is already very low," said Angela Seymour, Cassville Campus director. "Even with the $5 increase, a full-time student who enrolls in 12 credit hours will only pay an additional $60.
"Pell Grant awards already give students more than enough money to cover tuition and books," said Seymour. "Even with the increase, they will be able to cover all of their expenses for the semester."
The tuition increase will be applied to Crowder's three tuition levels, which will increase the cost of in-district tuition to $73 per credit hour. In-state tuition will increase to $100 per credit hour, and out-of-state tuition will be $128 per credit hour.
"We remain very reluctant to raise tuition, and we only do so when it is absolutely required," said Dr. Alan Marble, Crowder College president. "We are proud that we were able to hold tuition and fees at the same rate for three years running in an effort to help students cope with the ravaging effects of a very slow economy.
"However, operational costs have continued to rise each year, and the state revenue that helps offset student costs has continued to shrink," said Marble. "Accordingly, we were required to raise tuition a modest amount this year to help replace lost state revenue and to offset the rising cost of operations."
According to Marble, Crowder College received less state funding during the 2010-11 school year than was received 10 years ago. Today, the college is serving around twice as many students than during the 2000-2001 school year.
Last fall, the Cassville Campus saw a 24.87 percent increase in student enrollment. Nearly 100 more students enrolled in classes, and the number of credit hours offered increased by 25.4 percent.
Crowder College Cassville Campus students can complete two-year degrees in accounting, business administration, general studies, teaching or psychology. The campus also offers nursing, CNA, EMT and addictions counseling programs.
The Cassville Campus and Crowder College Campus in Neosho offer online programs through Missouri State University and other Missouri universities to help students progress toward a bachelor's degree.
On Monday, Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. announced that it has ranked Crowder College among the top 120 community colleges in the nation.
"This recognition reflects very positively on the dedication and hard work of our talented faculty, staff and student body," said Marble. "We are honored and humbled to receive national attention by the Aspen Institute for our prior efforts and we pledge to continue serving the educational needs of our community for years to come."