JWCC trustees approve tentative $19 million budget with tuition freeze for 2024-25

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QUINCY — John Wood Community College Board of Trustees approved a tentative $19,058,123 budget for the next fiscal year during its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 18.

The tentative 2024–25 budget includes a zero-dollar increase in tuition and universal fees and projects a 2.7 percent bump in the number of credit hours delivered to JWCC students. 

“As we celebrate the 50th year of John Wood’s commitment to providing low-cost higher education, we are proud to share that over half of our students can attend at no cost through federal and state grant assistance and privately funded scholarships,” JWCC President Bryan Renfro said in a press release. “This achievement underscores our dedication to keeping tuition as low as possible, ensuring everyone can attend.”

Renfro said the school’s recent Trellis Survey indicates JWCC students struggle with financial security and struggle to meet their basic needs in food, housing and transportation. Thirty-five percent of surveyed students were food insecure, and 35 percent had faced challenges securing or maintaining affordable, safe and quality housing. Twenty-one percent indicated their car was unreliable.

“As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we have been conducting the Pathways to Promise Scholarship drive,” Renfro said. “This initiative is a testament to our ongoing commitment to keeping costs down and our determination to provide more scholarships in the coming years, furthering our mission of affordable education.”

Tuition and fees account for 42.8 percent of total revenue for JWCC’s budget. Corporate and personal property taxes make up 38.1 percent, state funding is 12.9 percent, and 6.1 percent is from facilities rentals and other sources.  

State funding is projected to increase approximately 1.8 percent to $2,454,961, up from the previous fiscal year’s $2,412,078 budgeted amount.

JWCC lowered the local property tax rate from the previous year by approximately one cent per $100 EAV. An increase in equalized assessed valuation for property in the district will result in an estimated $491,525 in operating revenue.

The 2025 budget will remain on display for 30 days for public review.  The budget will be formally adopted during the July Board meeting. 

Trustees also heard a special report from the staff-led Caring Campus committee. JWCC was selected as one of 18 community colleges dedicated to improving student outcomes in colleges across the nation. Research showed students who feel more connected are more likely to be retained, complete their academic goals and persist from semester to semester are more likely to succeed. JWCC received a grant in 2023 to start this campus journey.

In other business, the Board:

  • Accepted $5,000 in grant funds from the United Way of Adams County for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Support Grant.
  • Accepted $278,511 in grant funds from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) for Trades School Grant Program ROUND #2.
  • Requested authorization to submit a grant application for $90,000 to Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) for Rev Up EV Capacity Building Project grant. 
  • Approved renewal of the United Way Partner agreement for FY2025.
  • Approved request of student account Write Offs for $12,763.19.
  • Approved 36-month lease agreement with Bella Ease at 707 Broadway Street in Quincy, IL starting July 1, 2024.
  • Approved 36-month leased space to Bella Ease at our Southeast Education Center and Mt. Sterling Education Center starting July 1, 2024.
  • Approved adoption of a $9 million bond level for the School Treasurer’s Bond with THE HARTFORD through the Illinois Community College Risk Management Consortium.  

The next meeting will be held July 24 at JWCC’s Quincy campus.

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