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Tuition hike approved for Erie Community College

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Erie Community College students will be paying a little more to attend classes this fall. The ECC Board of Directors approved Thursday a 3 percent annual tuition hike, an  increase of $167. The hike brings the total tuition cost to $4,900 a year.

ECC's Executive Vice President of operations Michael Pietkiewicz told WBFO News enrollment has been on a decline. 

“We’re experiencing enrollment declines. It’s a function of demographics - it’s a function of our economy - when the economy does well, our business doesn’t necessarily do that well. We did really well during the recess,” said Pietkiewicz.

There was no funding increase this year from Erie County or New York State.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Inside ECC's North campus library in Amherst.

“And I think it is important to understand that 80 percent of our revenues are driven by enrollment. Our state funding comes from a formula based on our enrollment and when enrollment declines it obviously impacts our bottom line, so costs are increasing and our support is going down and that's why we are sort of stuck in the middle,” Pietkiewicz explained.

Pietkiewicz emphasized a tuition increase is considered a 'last resort.'  The increase will help the college close out a $3.7 million budget shortfall. 

The tuition hike begins for the 2017 semester.

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