The Metropolitan Community College board Tuesday declined to raise tuition and fees for 2019-20, but approved a 3.1% increase for the following year.

Tuition and fees at Metro will remain at $64 and $5 respectively per credit hour for Nebraska residents. Full-time quarterly tuition and fees will stay at $1,035 for residents.

For non-residents, tuition will remain at $96 per credit hour in 2019-20 and tentatively will go to $99 per credit hour in 2020-21. The new school year starts at Metro in September.

Metro President Randy Schmailzl told the board that Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs raised tuition this week by a whopping $9 per semesterly credit hour for the 2019-20 school year.

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Schmailzl said there will be plenty of time between now and next year to change the 3.1 percent increase that has been approved for 2020-21.

“It’s certainly up to the board,” Schmailzl said. He said it was hard to predict what effect flood damage will have on property values in Metro’s four-county area. That could drive down Metro’s property tax revenue in 2020-21, he said. Property tax makes up about 50 percent of the college’s operating revenue, followed by tuition revenue and state money.

The college determined that its tuition in the coming school year will be the third lowest of six community colleges in the state, higher than Central Community College in Grand Island and Hastings and Mid-Plains Community College, based in North Platte and McCook.

Board member Dave Pantos said that if inflation is 2% annually, a 3.1% tuition increase over two years is reasonable.

Metro’s $5 student fee per credit hour covers the use of college facilities, such as meeting space, information technology and equipment.

The two-year college enrolls about 25,000 for-credit students a year.

The University of Nebraska system and three state colleges haven’t set tuition yet for 2019-20.

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rick.ruggles@owh.com, 402-444-1123

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