Proposed college budget includes tuition incentive

May 25, 2018

A proposed $10.2 million General Fund budget for Columbia Gorge Community College’s 2018-19 fiscal year will be considered by the college’s board of education June 12 following recommendation for approval by budget committee members in May.

The budget includes proposed investments to advance CGCC's technology infrastructure and initiatives to expand enrollment, including distance education. The budget also includes contingency funding.

The budget committee approved the college administration's proposal to encourage full-time enrollment through a tuition exemption applied for qualifying credit loads. Under the “15th Credit and Above Free” concept, students would only pay tuition for the first 14 credit hours per term; no tuition would be charged for the 15th credit, or for any credit hour beyond that up to 20 credits per term. (Students must obtain special permission to take more than 20 credit hours.)

“The goal is to encourage students planning full-time enrollment at CGCC to consider 15 credits per term, the traditional, minimum number of credits required for on-time completion of certificates and degrees,” said Dr. Eric Studebaker, Chief Student Services Officer.

Students would still be assessed fees associated with all classes.

The proposed budget also encourages continuing outreach to area school districts to increase the number of students earning college credit while completing high school coursework.

Budget committee members met twice, on May 10 and May 24, and voted 10-3 to recommend approval of the 2018-19 spending plan by the college board. Tim Arbogast chaired the committee; also serving were Karen Fairchild, Marc Berry, Jon Farquharson, John Hutchison, Marilyn Wong and Brock Critchfield, joined by the college board: Sarah Segal, Dana Campbell, Lee Fairchild, Charlotte Arnold, Kim Morgan, Stu Watson and Kevin McCabe.

In keeping with Oregon budget law, all budget hearings are open to the public for questions and comments.

The next step will be a budget hearing before the college board June 12 at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of Building 1, The Dalles Campus. The hearing and board meeting are open to the public.