During the November Dodge City Community College board of trustees meeting, the board voted on the elimination of several fees for the 2020-21 school year.

The board voted on the elimination of a $135 online fee, the elimination of parking and registration fees.

"Most of our online courses are taken by local students," DCCC finance director Glendon Forgey said. "By essentially eliminating the fee whether you're online or a face-to-face student, Ford County or out of county student, we are just going to charge you tuition and fees to make it more affordable and accessible, especially for Ford County students because this will greatly reduce their online fee."

For eliminating parking and registration it, according to Forgey, would eliminate the hurdle of registering which some students may not have the funding for at the time.

Online tuition would be adjusted from $135 to normal tuition rates for students depending on residency status.

"The parking fee has always been an issue with students," Forgey said. "We hear, 'well I don't drive a car I get dropped off, why do I have to pay this,' so by doing away with that, to offset those to where we don't lose a lot of revenue, some things would go up like they have every year."

Among those that went up was the raising of fees for Ford County students from $44 to $54.

"Ford County students shouldn't have to pay more for something they are already paying for," DCCC trustee Dan Reichenborn argued. "It should stay the same at the $44."

According to Forgey, total income from tuition and fees from all students is $2.8 million in the general fund.

"Our budget this year was based on a flat enrollment and we didn't have a flat enrollment," Forgey said. "Our enrollment was down nearly 9% and that is significantly affecting it."

DCCC board of trustees vice chairman Jeremy Presley added that the changes presented to the board for Ford County students went down 16.8% under the financial considerations in tuition and fees by the changes made to the elimination of the online, parking and registration fees.

The breakdown for students per course hours will be that “Ford County students who take a combination of six hours online and six hours face-to-face could experience an 11.4% reduction in total tuition and fees.

“Under the restructure, a Ford County student taking nine hours (six hours online) could experience a total tuition and fee reduction of $200 or 16.8%.

“The change in the tuition and fee schedule is estimated to generate an additional $125,000 in revenue based on projected enrollment data,” according to Forgey.

"These changes will save our Ford County students money which is great," Presley said. "It's something we all want."

The new fee scheduled was approved unanimously with a 6-0 vote.

DCCC board of trustees chairman Gary Harshberger was not in attendance at the meeting and did not vote.

Other discussions that are underway are with a potential for a second entrance to the Dodge City High School with a connection to the DCCC campus near Loretta Avenue and Highway 50.

Dodge City manager Cherise Tieben spoke with the trustees regarding a study done by the Kansas Department of Transportation of that possibility.

"KDOT surveyed the area and there is a potential for a traffic signal light to go in at the back entrance to the college on the highway near Loretta," Tieben said. "If it works out, there would be much easier access to and from for students at the high school and college and we have been working with KDOT on this for a while now. But it is baby steps so we have it on the KDOT radar."

According to city officials, the traffic signal and second entrance for the high school would all take place together, if and when things move forward with KDOT.

 

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com