Tuition and fees at Hutchinson Community College likely are headed up for 2019-2020.

The Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed increases at its Thursday night meeting. Proposed annual increases - and annual approval of them - are customary, according to HCC President Carter File.

“We always try to consider our cost increase and how they impact students,” File said. He described the increases as “modest." In recent years, the combined tuition-fee rate per credit hour for Kansas residents has climbed anywhere from $3 to $6 per credit hour per year. The tuition-fee charge for state residents would rise by $4 per credit hour, under the proposal.

Increased operating costs - including the cost of utilities, maintenance, and personnel - are spurring the requested hikes, according to File. HCC’s rates put the college right in the middle among the state’s 19 community colleges' prices, he said.

The proposed rates vary depending on a student’s status and residency. Because Reno County property owners support the college through a mill levy, Reno County residents get a discounted rate. Also, high school students in and outside of Kansas are not charged fees.

Proposed rates for the next school year are:

Legal residence in Kansas: $91 per credit hour in tuition and $23 per credit hour in fees, for a combined $114, up $4 from the current year. The tuition-fee cost next year for a Reno County resident would be $104 per credit hour.
Legal residence outside Kansas: $145 in tuition/fees per credit hour, up by $4.
International students: $164 in tuition/fees per credit hour, up $4.

Most special course fees would remain stable, but some would change. Some welding course fees, for example, would jump as the college moves to a per course fee for those classes and away from the standard fee per credit hour. Other proposed course fee increases are linked to higher costs for testing or supplies.

The cost to take Introduction to Education Practicum would drop by a $3.50 because of the reduced cost for a background check.