Lincroft, NJ  (January 23, 2014) – At their monthly meeting tonight, Brookdale Community College’s Board of Trustees approved the College’s fiscal year (FY) 15 operating and capital budget, which will take effect July 1, 2014.  The total operating budget for FY15 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) is $86,695,502, a 0.6% reduction from the FY14 revised budget.

“This budget reflects a continued focus on cost containment and fiscal responsibility by College administration. Over the past three years, the college’s budget has been reduced by $15M, primarily through attrition and by carefully considering each vacancy before a position is filled,” said Brian Butch, Board chair.

With the new budget, tuition will increase $3.25 per credit, or 2.8%. Currently, in-county students pay $115.50 per credit in tuition, not to exceed a maximum of $1,732.50 per term, and $27.72 per credit in fees, not to exceed $415.80 per term.

“An increase of any size can affect our students with financial needs. While developing this budget, we worked hard to keep tuition increases to the absolute minimum necessary for maintaining a high-quality educational experience for our students.   This increase is only $.25 per credit more than the 2011 tuition level. We strive to develop a budget with reasonable tuition costs to allow students to predict with greater certainty their college expense,” said Brookdale President Maureen Murphy.

As of July 1, residents of Monmouth County will pay $118.75 per credit hour, not to exceed $1781.25 per term and out-of-county New Jersey residents will pay $237.50 per credit hour, not to exceed $3562.50 per term.   Fees will increase to $28.50 per credit, not to exceed $427.50 per term.

“The tuition increase is the first since 2011; in 2013 tuition was reduced and remained level the following year. This small increase will permit the College to continue serving our community by offering a diverse range of quality educational choices and extracurricular activities that enhance the student experience,” said Murphy.

Aid to colleges from government funding sources is on the decline nationwide. College officials recognize the fiscal challenges that both New Jersey state and Monmouth County governments are facing, and anticipate level funding from the state and a reduction in funding from the county, as reflected in the FY 15 budget proposal.

The College is allocating $4,715,901 from reserves to balance the FY15 operating budget. Reserve funds were accumulated over a span of years prior to Fall 2012 as a result of increased enrollment and reduction in college-wide expenses. The goal is to balance the budget by FY 16, with no dependency on reserves.

“The practice of taking money from reserves is not a sustainable financial model. We are currently assessing each area of the college to determine what changes need to occur in order to reach our goal of balancing the budget by July 1, 2015, while keeping tuition affordable,” said Murphy.

The county’s allocation to the College’s operating budget is approved by the Monmouth County Freeholders at the Board of School Estimate meeting, which is scheduled for Thursday, February 13 at 1 p.m.

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 About Brookdale Community College

An open access institution, Brookdale is committed to student success in a socially diverse environment. As the number one associate degree granting college in New Jersey, Brookdale provides students with opportunities to advance academically, pursue a career and enhance their professional skills. With six convenient locations throughout Monmouth County and access to bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the NJ Coastal Communiversity, Brookdale is committed to student success and development. Success starts at Brookdale.

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