Now that the 2018-19 school year has concluded, plans are going forward for the 2019-20 school year for Dodge City Community College.
A key item voted on during the May 28 DCCC board of trustees meeting was a resolution of student fees for student scholarships.
According to DCCC Chief Financial Officer Glendon Forgey, as per Kansas statute, the board may use student fees for scholarships to be used.
For the 2019-20 school year, which begins July 1, DCCC would move the students fees for scholarships to $900,000, an almost 50 percent increase from the previous year.
Most of the scholarships, according to Forgey, go toward non-Ford County residents.
"For athletes, a Ford County resident cannot receive a Ford County scholarship because public funds cannot be used for athletes," Forgey said. "They can only get scholarships from incidental fees funds, not Ford County scholarship funds."
One change DCCC would like to pursue is offering more scholarships toward such activities as band, cheer, dance and rodeo.
"Programs like band, cheer, dance and rodeo are not considered sports because there are no letters of intent for those programs," Forgey said. "So a Ford County student can get Ford County funds and incidental fees from both, if they qualify."
Currently there are 15 to 20 Ford County athletes at DCCC, according to Forgey.
The move would be for instead of having a scholarship just for books, for example, the scholarships offered would be more of a pot of money given out to students through each college department.
Each department, football, band, welding, etc. would be given a certain amount of scholarship dollars to use.
"When getting scholarships, we got to be competitive," DCCC president Dr. Harold Nolte said. "We're losing students to Garden (City) and other schools because we're not able to what I call coupling scholarships and that is why our goal is to get as many students that are from here, here.
"So we're trying to get aggressive about scholarships."
Forgey added that Ford County public funds are for $375,000 in scholarships, the $900,000 are from student incidental fees, which Ford County students would pay into as well.
"I feel it is not OK for one student to pay for another students education," DCCC trustee Dan Reichenborn said. "We have students paying their fee and that fee is going to another student. How can that be OK?"
Several members of the board and DCCC president agreed that most schools in the area are enduring the same situation.
"When we put this for the Student Government Association," DCCC board chairman Gary Harshberger said, "they approved this. So this is the kind of college they want.
"They want a college where we can give a band scholarship and bring people in from different areas because the college is bigger than Ford County and the eight counties we serve and to expand everything about the college. It's not a glorified high school."
It was also said that after Ford County fees are used, if there is still a Ford County student needing money, then the college would be able to go into the incidental fund.
"So they are also being awarded funds from other students as well," Forgey said.
The board approved the student fees with a 5-2 vote.
The nay votes were by Reichenborn and DCCC trustee Terry Malone.
To contact the writer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.