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Blinn general fee adjustment will support new capital projects and facilities upgrades

Board of Trustees extends Sealy campus lease an additional year

March 25, 2014

The Blinn College Board of Trustees held tuition steady and approved a general fee increase to support new capital projects and facilities upgrades during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

The board approved a $7 general fee increase from $37 to $44 per credit hour. For a student taking 12 credit hours, that results in an additional $84 per semester, and is estimated to generate an additional $2.8 million to support the College’s student services, institutional support and non-academic facilities expenditures.

The fee adjustment was supported by Blinn’s budget committee.

“This adjustment will allow us provide new facilities and make upgrades to meet the demands of anticipated growth,” said Kelli Shomaker, CFO/senior vice president for Finance and Administrative Services. “This adjustment will allow us to continue to serve our students in a manner befitting our proud 130-year history.”

The board also approved new housing fees that will allow Blinn to upgrade its housing facilities on the Brenham campus while remaining competitive with other community colleges throughout the state. The adjustments vary by residence hall and will generate an additional $179,075 annually.

Blinn’s tuition and fees average one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. The College was recently recognized by AffordableCollegesOnline.org as one of the most affordable large community colleges in the nation, and an economic impact study released last month found that Blinn makes a $345.3 million annual impact on the local economy.

Students receive a 14.2 percent annual rate of return on their investment in a Blinn education.
In other business, the board authorized the administration to negotiate the potential purchase and a 60-day feasibility study of property at 2501 Earl Rudder Freeway South in College Station.

Blinn registered a record 18,413 students last Fall, including 12,883 on its Brazos County campuses, and the College has experienced 31.1 percent enrollment growth since 2006.

Enrollment is projected to approach 20,000 in Brazos County by 2025.

The board also ratified a one-year extension of Blinn’s Sealy campus lease. Blinn opened the campus in 2005 and offers a variety of academic transfer, workforce training and continuing education classes at the location. Last year, Blinn was awarded the Sealy Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award as the organization that best promoted and supported Sealy and its businesses.

Founded in 1883, Blinn’s academic transfer rate is the highest in the state and 21 percent higher than the state average. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.