Six months after Gila Community College (GCC) lowered its tuition, Dean Cullen is now requesting an increase.
Cullen has stated at the last two board meetings that GCC now has the “lowest tuition in the state.”
If you were to investigate the tuition schedule of all the community colleges in the state you would discover that Cullen’s statement is correct if you only looked at costs for senior citizens. Their tuition cost at GCC is nothing — zero — free. However if you look at the tuition for a two credit course, GCC has third highest rate in the state and for 12 credits they are the second highest. And this high rate is in a county that is financially challenged.
At the last board meeting Cullen said he could “guarantee that” his proposed increase would not cause a drop in enrollment. Past data history shows that as tuition increases, enrollment decreases. It would be interesting for the board to pass this increase to see if Cullen’s “guarantee” would play out. I hope however, the board does not do such since they have decided enough issues without any data or study to validate their actions.
Since the cost of running GCC is now one of the higher line items on our property taxes, maybe it’s time we require the head of our community college be accountable to the taxpayers of Gila County and not to some bureaucrat at Eastern Arizona College.
Tom Loeffler, former board member