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PR # 160 February 25, 2009

FACED WITH AID CUTS, RVCC PASSES BUDGET THAT INCLUDES REDUCTION IN OPERATING COSTS, TUITION INCREASE

Faced with the prospect of significant cuts in funding from both the State of New Jersey and Somerset and Hunterdon counties, the Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) Board of Trustees last night passed an austere budget for FY 2010 that includes reductions in operating expenses, a hiring freeze and a 2.61 percent increase in student tuition and fees.

The new tuition rate of $96 per credit will take effect for the Fall 2009 semester. The current tuition is $91 per credit. However, with a new adjustment in fees, the net increase will be $3 per credit assessed. Students who do not live or work in Somerset or Hunterdon County will be charged an extra $10 per credit.

Based on the new tuition and fee schedule, the average full-time student carrying 15 credits per term (or 30 credits per year) will pay $3,540 a year, an increase of $90 over the current academic year.

?In today?s difficult economy, it?s more important than ever that an RVCC education remains an affordable option for our students,? said RVCC President Dr. Casey Crabill. ?In order to make up for an anticipated $1 million reduction in aid from the State of New Jersey and our two counties, we first sought out ways to cut costs while preserving our mission of providing students with high quality, innovative learning. As a result, the budget calls for an overall five percent reduction in operating expenses and a hiring freeze. We?ve also identified cost savings in such areas as energy and service contracts.?

The Board approved a $46.9 million operating budget for the 2010 fiscal year. Funding for the operating budget would come from the following sources:

Tuition and fees 53.3%
State of New Jersey 13.6%
Somerset and Hunterdon Counties 32.3%
Other (investments, rentals, etc.) .8%
(Auxiliary services are not included in these figures)

The Board also approved a $3.2 million major capital budget and an $850,000 minor capital budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The operating and capital budgets now go to the Board of School Estimate for approval at its meeting on Wednesday, March 25, at 3:30 p.m., at the Somerset County Administration Building in Somerville. The Board of School Estimate includes two freeholders from Somerset County, two freeholders from Hunterdon County and two members of the RVCC Board of Trustees.

Following is a list of the new tuition rates approved by the Board of Trustees and effective for the Fall 2009 semester:

Fall 2009 Tuition Schedule
Hunterdon/Somerset County Residents: $96 per credit
Out-of-county residents: $106 per credit (Out-of-county tuition rate does not apply to individuals who work in Somerset or Hunterdon County)
Out-of-state residents: $106 per credit
Early College Program: $150 for first course in a semester. Additional courses are at regular tuition rate.
RVCC Online Courses & NJ Virtual Community College Courses: $117 per credit, no fees
Hunterdon/Somerset County Gold Card Seniors. Minimum age 65: Free tuition on space-available basis for the period of 5 business days prior to the start of the course?s part of the term. Fees apply. Anyone registering earlier than 5 business days prior to the start of the term must pay full tuition and fees.
NJ National Guard & NJ National Guard Reserves: Free tuition for up to 16 credits per term for individual only. Fees apply.
Volunteer Firefighters & Emergency Medical Personnel: Free tuition for up to $600 per year and $2,400 lifetime per family of volunteer. Fees apply.
September 11 Victims? Families: Free tuition for children and spouses of Victims. Fees apply.

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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