The tuition hike for the 2023-24 school year accounts for an...

The tuition hike for the 2023-24 school year accounts for an inflation-driven rise in operating costs, officials said. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Suffolk County Community College is proposing a 3.1% tuition hike for the 2023-24 school year to account for an inflation-driven rise in operating costs after freezing tuition for the past four years, college officials said.

Mark Harris, the college’s vice president for financial affairs, is expected to present SCCC's $210.77 million budget to the Suffolk County Legislature’s Education and Labor Committee on Wednesday.

Full-time tuition is expected to rise by $170 to $5,640 next year,  Harris said. The cost of a single credit would rise by $7 to $235.

The college also is asking for a $1.1 million increase in annual county funding. That would bring total county funding to $50 million, Harris said.

“The hard reality is we have to increase revenue from all angles,” Harris said during an April 20 SCCC board of trustees meeting, at which trustees voted 7-0 to adopt the budget. “We have held tuition frozen for four years, but because of inflation, we are at the point where we had to look at increasing the tuition and fees incrementally.”

Full-time tuition for Nassau County residents at Nassau Community College was $5,800 in 2022-23. In-state tuition at state-operated four-year schools, including those on Long Island, was $7,070. 

Nationally, the average annual tuition cost for in-district, two-year public schools such as SCCC is $3,860, according to a 2022 report from the College Board.

Marykate Guilfoyle, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said the county is expected to support the college’s funding request.

Attendance at SCCC has declined by about 25% since 2011 due in part to  the COVID-19 pandemic. In that period, tuition has risen by about 41%, from $3,990 in 2011.

SCCC enrolls 21,000 students across its three campuses, according to its website. The college projects a 2% enrollment increase in the fall semester.

The proposed spending plan also calls for use of $12.9 million in reserve funds in 2023-24 and projects a nearly 8%, or $2.3 million, increase in employee benefits.

Education and Labor Committee Chairman Legis. James Mazzarella (R-Moriches) said he planed to ask college officials about continued use of reserve funding to meet budget needs and what they will do if enrollment does not increase.

“My concern is if we don’t get that increase in enrollment, you’re falling further into the red,” Mazzarella said.

SCCC spokesman Drew Biondo said: "We’ve set a high bar for enrollment growth and will do all possible to achieve it while continuing to provide students with a high-quality education at the lowest cost possible.”

Revenue from students accounts for 55% of SCCC's budget, with about half that coming from sources such as federal Pell Grants and state aid.

Newsday Live and Long Island LitFest present a conversation with the former senior advisor to President Clinton and co-anchor of “Good Morning America,” George Stephanopoulos, about his new book, “The Situation Room, The Inside Story of Presidents in Crisis.” Host: NewsdayTV Anchor Jasmine Anderson

Newsday Live: A Chat with George Stephanopoulos Newsday Live and Long Island LitFest present a conversation with the former senior advisor to President Clinton and co-anchor of "Good Morning America."

Newsday Live and Long Island LitFest present a conversation with the former senior advisor to President Clinton and co-anchor of “Good Morning America,” George Stephanopoulos, about his new book, “The Situation Room, The Inside Story of Presidents in Crisis.” Host: NewsdayTV Anchor Jasmine Anderson

Newsday Live: A Chat with George Stephanopoulos Newsday Live and Long Island LitFest present a conversation with the former senior advisor to President Clinton and co-anchor of "Good Morning America."

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME