Friday, March 26–Wor-Wic Tuition Heading Up

SNOW HILL – Students at Wor-Wic Community College will face a tuition hike next year, with each credit hour costing $89, an $8 increase.

Full-time students, with 12 credit hours, will pay $96 more per semester.

Wor-Wic must cope with a 13-percent reduction in funding for fiscal year 2011, college President Ray Hoy told the Worcester County Commissioners Tuesday morning during a budget request presentation. Hoy expects to find the additional funding needed through the tuition increase and an expected 10-percent increase in enrollment.

In fiscal year 2009, tuition made up 34 percent of the Wor-Wic’s revenue, while in fiscal year 2011, tuition is projected to make up 46 percent of the college’s revenue. The state of Maryland’s contribution will remain the same percentage for both years, but local governments will go from supplying 33 percent of Wor-Wic’s revenue in FY09 to supplying 22 percent.

The college has seen a significant increase in financial aid students, Hoy said, from 4,500 applications to 7,500 applications in one year. Wor-Wic’s percentage of students on financial aid is the third highest in the state of Maryland. The only new position in the college’s budget is a financial aid coordinator to deal with the increase.

To save money on utilities, the college has hired a company that will identify where energy can be used more efficiently. Part of that company’s work is to change the culture of the college regarding energy use. Hoy said that the company guarantees savings and a salary for a part-time energy audit employee, and if those savings are not achieved in the first year, the company will write the college a check.

Wor-Wic has had to eliminate some positions in the Allied Health Department in occupational and physical therapy, which will save money but also endanger accreditation of the program. Health positions are more expensive to fund than basic subjects such as math or English. Local hospitals have contributed to health programs in the past, but that funding has dried up.

Student fees, used to make up revenue gaps, will not be raised.

“How much more can they afford? That’s the issue,” said Hoy.

Hoy noted that the Eastern Shore is the third most economically distressed area in the state.

“We’re the most efficiently operated school in the state of Maryland by any measure whatsoever,” Hoy said.