2015-07-16 / School News

Community College Tab is $3 Million

By Eric Gross

Students attending Dutchess Community College will be forking over an additional $160 a year starting in September but the tuition remains a bargain.

Full-time students attending one of DCC’s campuses in Wappingers Falls or Poughkeepsie—the college also offers evening courses at Carmel High School— will now pay $1,680 a semester.

The reason the instruction is so inexpensive is that the student pays one-third of the cost while the county picks up one-third and the state kicks in the remainder.

Commissioner of Finance William Carlin Wednesday told the Courier that during the 2014-15 school year that recently concluded, Putnam paid $954,000 in tuition costs to Dutchess Community College.

Westchester Community College received the largest county reimbursement of $1.4 million with the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan coming in third with a $389,000 reimbursement.

Putnam paid Orange Community College $27,000 for the school year gone by followed by Rockland Community College’s $23,000.

Carlin said the county also reimbursed numerous other community colleges from Long Island to upstate Cayuga County.

According to the commissioner, 3,200 full-time equivalent students attend community colleges from Putnam County.

“Many families can only afford a community college while others want to keep their children close to home,” he said, adding “an expensive four year college is not for everyone and a community college allows a young person to experience college life at a reasonable cost.”

A 2015 graduate of Carmel High will be attending DCC this fall: “I am looking forward to earning as many credits as I can at a reasonable cost. The first two years of college or university are basic courses anyway whether you take them in Poughkeepsie or at Penn State.”

A mother of three teenagers decided to go back to school and earn her degree: “The community college setting has been a blessing for me. I take courses in the evening and will be graduating within the next year.”

A 50 year resident of Carmel attended community college back in the early 1960s: “My tuition was a mere $50 a semester as compared to $2,500 for a private university. I received a fantastic education during my two years at Rockland Community College and was able to transfer to a four year school, earn a degree, go onto graduate studies and teach for more than three decades. I have always been a proponent of a community college and still am.”

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