EAC proposes tuition hike

Contributed Photo/Courtesy EAC:

By Jon Johnson


THATCHER – Getting a degree from Eastern Arizona College may hurt one’s pocketbook a little more next year but will still be a bargain compared to other college’s and universities.

The Graham County Community College District Governing Board will be asked to adopt a proposed increase for in-state residents as well as a 3 percent increase in room and board fees at its Nov. 15 meeting. Some of the proposed changes are as follows:

General Tuition (per semester) 

Credit hours 1-15 $85 per CH (current) $90 per CH (2018-19)

Credit hours 15 and up $1,275(current)$1,350 (2018-19)

Out-of-State Tuition (No change)  

Credit hours 1-15 $290 per CH (current) $290 per CH (2018-19)

Credit hours 15 and up $4,350 (current) $4,350 (2018-19)

Residence Hall Fees

MA & NL Residence Halls 

Fall Semester $1,535 (current) $1,580 (2018-19)

Spring Semester $1,040 (current) $1,070 (2018-19)

Annual $2,575 (current) $2,650 (2018-19)

Residence Towers 

Fall Semester $2,055 (current) $2,115 (2018-19)

Spring Semester $1,365 (current) $1,405 (2018-19)

Annual $3,420 (current) $3,520 (2018-19)

Board Fees: (meal plan) 

Plan A 19/19 $2,010 (current) $2,070 (2018-19)

Plan B 14/19 $1,865(current) $1,920 (2018-19)

Plan C 10/19 $1,765(current) $1,815 (2018-19)

EAC President Mark Bryce addressed the board at its Oct. 18 meeting and said due to a shortfall from the state of roughly $100 million the college must be prepared to weather the storm of funds being swept and the state not adequately funding college education. If that were to happen, Bryce said, the school would have to look for alternative funding sources. 

“A huge part of the state budget is education,” Bryce said. “So, they start looking around, ‘Where you going to cut? Where you going to cut? Prisons? What are you going to cut? Because we’re so much of the state budget, automatically you wonder if we’re going to be OK . . . We’re hoping that they’ll leave that untouched, leave education alone.”

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central: EAC President Mark Bryce said the school should be wary about possible sweeps of funds from the state.

Bryce also said EAC is still the best education for one’s money in the state.

“We currently have the lowest combination associates and bachelors degrees in state of Arizona tuition,” Bryce said. “You can’t get a bachelors degree cheaper anywhere than right here on this campus.”

Compared to the three state universities, University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, EAC is a very good deal with its proposed $1,350 per semester fee for 15 credit hours and up much cheaper than the UA at $11,644, ASU at $10,792 and NAU at $11,059. Add in room and board to the equation and EAC is (with the highest meal plan) $6,070 per semester compared to UA at $23,986, ASU at $22,165 and NAU at $21,287 using the universities’ average room and board costs.

And compared to other counties’ community colleges, EAC will still be lower per 18 credit hours per semester than all other counties except for Navajo and Yuma.

In other EAC news:

EAC President Mark Bryce announced an endowment from the C. Max Bennett Estate of $1,860,000. The college has already received $360,000 of the endowment and expects to receive the other $1.5 million by the end of the year.

The donation is the largest in school history and the third million dollar donation in Bryce’s tenure at its helm.

Proceeds from the Max and Clara Curtis Bennett Endowment will support student scholarships and the EAC Music Department.