It's only $10. Maybe that's what Southwestern Illinois College President Georgia Costello thought when she recommended a tuition increase to make up for lost state revenue.
But for the students who attend SWIC and are counting on an affordable education, raising tuition from $99 a credit hour to $109 could make a degree more difficult to obtain. It might be the difference between finishing a degree or certificate and dropping out of school.
Students dropping out would be a sad consequence of a budget jam. Getting a college degree isn't a right, but not having one would almost surely guarantee limited job prospects and decreased earning potential.
Fortunately, the board of trustees gets it. The trustees tabled the tuition increase proposal and asked to look for other ways to make up the projected shortfall. "Nobody on this board wants to raise anything we don't have to," Board President Nick Mance said. Good for him and all who said "not so fast."
SWIC should increase tuition only as a last resort. Belt-tightening is where any effort to fill the budget hole needs to start.