MATTOON -- The Lake Land College Board of Trustees voted Monday evening to increase tuition by $5 per credit hour and fees by $2.50 per credit hour starting this summer.
Prior to the vote, newly re-elected Chairman Mike Sullivan said he hates having to increase tuition but that, unfortunately, this is an action the board has to take. The college has reported that the tuition and free increase is needed to offset reductions in state funding and increases in general operating expenses.
"I think we are in a position where we don't have a lot of choice," Sullivan said.
Tuition for in-district students is slated to increase from $87.50 to $92.50 per credit hour starting during the upcoming summer semester and service fees are slated to increase from $18.80 to $21.30 per credit hour. The activity fee will remain at a level of $1.50 per credit hour.
Tina Stovall, vice president for students services, said the fee increase will result in full-time in-district students paying $3,459 for a full academic year of 30 credit hours at Lake Land.
Still, President Josh Bullock said Lake Land will have one of the lowest tuition rates in the Illinois community college system even after the increase. He added that students can save more than $15,000 by attending Lake Land for two years and then transferring to their university of choice.
"Even with the increase, (Lake Land) is a good value," said board member Doris Reynolds.
Approximately a year ago, the board increased tuition by $4 per credit hour for in-district students to the current $87.50 level. About six years prior to that decision, the board approved an increase of $3 per credit hour.
During Monday's meeting, board member Robert Luther cautioned that the board may have to revisit the topic of tuition levels during spring 2015.
In other business, the board approved the $249,053 bid of Nadler Electric Contracting Inc. of Sullivan to install a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic array on the roof of the West Building. These solar panels are part of Lake Land's efforts to reduce its natural gas and electricity usage.
The board also approved the $29,441 bid of Automotive Equipment Sales and Service of Pana to provide a new wheel alignment system for automotive technology classes and the $189,975 bid of Crawford Co. of Rock Island to provide a new overhead exhaust removal system for the John Deere technology building.