The Weatherford College Board of Trustees approved tuition rates for the 2019-20 academic year during their meeting Thursday afternoon.
In-district (Parker County) tuition will increase by $4 per semester hour, or 5 percent, bringing the total rate to $89 per semester hour. Tuition will also increase for out-of-district students by $11 to $143 per hour, for out-of-district Wise County by $6 to $110, out-of-district Granbury students by $10 to $132 and out-of-state by $15 to $202 per semester hour.
Based upon 2018-19 semester hours, the rate increase will generate $799,864 in additional revenue and will still allow WC to remain below the state tuition average among community colleges.
The Texas State Legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2 which would drop the property tax rollback rate from 8 percent to 2.5 percent, which would limit future increases in revenue from property taxes for entities like WC. That coupled with the continuing decrease in state funding appropriations as a percentage of total revenues, WC officials said the only way to continue to grow the budget to keep pace with inflation is through tuition increases.
“Raising tuition is not something we want to do, or like to do,” said board secretary Lela Morris, “but Weatherford College is on the brink of very exciting things and we have to find the revenue.”
Differential tuition will also increase by $20 per credit hour in strong demand programs including Associate Degree Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapy Assistant, Radiology Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Phlebotomy Technology.
In his President’s Report, Dr. Tod Allen Farmer:
- Recognized Morgan Page and Casson Rasmussen for being recognized as softball players of the week by the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference.
- Presented the board with a formal resolution from State Representative Phil King and and Senator Pat Fallon recognizing the college for being named the North Central Texas Workforce Solutions Education Partner of the Year and in honor of WC’s sesquicentennial celebration.
- Presented the board with a thank you letter from State Representative Drew Springer for the receipt of the WC historical book and sesquicentennial lapel pen.
- Presented the board with a trophy from the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce naming WC as their Large Business of the Year.
- Recognized musicians Aidan Lewis, Wilson Baker and James Carrizosa on making the Texas Community College All-State band.
- Recognized Dr. Scott Tarnowieckyi on leading the successful inaugural Interdisciplinary Academic Conference.
- Recognized students Jessica Perala, Victor Castro, Machenzie William and Erin McGuire for helping fellow students who recent experience health situations requiring medical assistance.
- Recognized WC donors, the WC Foundation, and Brent Baker and his team for the exceptional giving that has recently occurred at WC. With 10 days remaining in the first quarter of 2019, the first quarter philanthropy has seen a 109 percent increase year to date over the first quarter of 2018.
- Announced the resignation of acquisitions librarian Elizabeth Speer.
- Provided a legislative update on Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 2 which would reduce the rollback tax rate from 8 percent to 2.5 percent.
In other business, the board:
- Approved the minutes from the Feb. 14 board meeting.
- Approved the financial reports ending Feb. 28.
- Approved the quarterly investment report.
- Approved the access control and video surveillance system request for proposals.
- Approved an interlocal cooperation contract with National IPA.
- Approved the cancellation of the Board of Trustees general election for Place 1 and Place 2 and special election for Place 4 originally scheduled for May 4. All three incumbents filed for office unopposed.
- Received a report from Julie Macmillan of RBC Capital Markets about the college’s current status in order to develop a financial strategy to build new facilities.
- Received a demand study update from Mike Endy, Vice President of Instruction and Student Services and Janetta Kruse, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development.
- Received a Guided Pathways updated from Endy and Dr. Andra Cantrell, Executive Vice President for Financial and Administrative Affairs.
- Received a report on “Using Numbers with Heart” from Endy. This month’s report focused on the dual credit pilot program Spring Forward taking place in Springtown ISD.