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June 17, 2014

NCCC ups county shares

ELIZABETHTOWN — The new North Country Community College budget asks for increased shares from the sponsoring counties of Essex and Franklin.

The college is asking for $50,000 more from each county, which means they would pay $1,190,000 each, plus $50,000 each for the capital fund.

College President Steve Tyrell told the Essex County Board of Supervisors on Monday that the increase is the first since the 2009-10 school year.

The budget was presented to the Franklin County Legislature last week.

HIGHER TUITION

The $14.3 million budget also includes a 5 percent annual tuition increase for students, from $4,050 to $4,250, the first since 2011.

Tuition for out-of-state students goes up $200 in the budget, to $10,300.

Tyrell said the total budget is a 1.4 percent decrease of $196,300.

The president said they reduced expenditures by $620,000 through retirements and resignations, energy savings and use of new technologies.

That still left them with an $800,000 budget deficit, he said, which will be taken from the reserve fund.

ENROLLMENT DOWN

One problem is a 12 percent decline in student enrollment, which went from 1,309 last year to a projected 1,150 for 2014-15.

The college has a main campus in Saranac Lake and branches in Ticonderoga and Malone.

“Your revenue has dropped because your enrollment decreased,” Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) said.

Tyrell said it’s a trend statewide because the pool of eligible students is decreasing due to a drop in grade-school populations.

“There’s a declining number of high-school graduation numbers above Westchester County. We’re trying to combat our declining enrollments with a number of different strategies.”

Those include new television commercials and other forms of advertising, he said.

AID RATIO

“We continue to excel in a number of areas at North Country,” Tyrell said.

He said other colleges tell them how well prepared the NCCC students are when they transfer there.

State aid has declined, Tyrell said, so the funding ratio for NCCC is now 41 percent from tuition, 31 percent state and 25 percent sponsoring counties, plus 3 percent from other sources.

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