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Published: Tuesday, 5/23/2006

Owens delays raising tuition pending further budget study

Owens Community College held off raising its full-year tuition by 5.99 percent to $2,972 until it understands how the increase would affect the next academic year's budget.

Administrators and members of the board of trustees' finance committee yesterday were uncertain whether the proposed 2006-07 budget included or excluded the tuition hike.

The budget shows $81.3 million in expenditures, which would be paid for largely by tuition, state subsidies, and student fees.

Charles Mann, vice president of business affairs, said the proposed budget did not include the tuition increase, highlighting the $4.57 million gap between expenditures and revenue the school must close, in part, by the tuition increase.

But Trustee Richard Rowe noticed the $31 million in tuition revenue appeared to account for the increase already, throwing off budget projections.

"The only thing I suggest is that we have no action," said Mr. Mann, after he tried to reconcile the conflicting figures.

With the tuition increase, Owens still would have the lowest full-year tuition of all nine state community colleges, according to documents studied by the board committee.

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