Anoka-Ramsey offers several short-term retraining programs, designed for those searching for career-change options. The college also provides two-year transfer programs as well as some four-year programs from state universities on campus.
Current Year Adjustments
With anticipated enrollment increases of 5% this school year, Anoka-Ramsey is hoping to cover cuts or unallotment enacted by the Governor or the Legislature, during this fiscal year. College staff are working hard to continue to increase enrollments, since 50 percent of the college's funding is generated by tuition. However an increased number of students means more pressure on staff and faculty.
"I have great respect for our faculty who teach larger than average class sizes and our dedicated staff who put forth extra effort every day to assist students. I am often amazed by their dedication and commitment," says Johns. "Without their strong work ethic, we would not be in the healthy, stable situation we are in."
The college will maintain its centralized, quality-controlled hiring practices and conservative purchasing; however some additional adjustments must be made to continue its stable environment. For example, out-of-state travel and purchasing of equipment and furniture may be limited. In addition, the college will continue its practice of closely analyzing all position requests - for new or vacant positions-to meet the goals of the college and the needs of an increased number of students.
Strategy for Budget Forecast
Preparing for next year's state deficit is a consultative process for Anoka-Ramsey.
"We include constituents who care about this college and our students to help us determine the best route for our future," explains Johns. "Making the tough decisions about what to cut or what to keep needs to be a team effort, compromises must take place."
What Johns is referring to is what he calls the "integrative planning" approach that brings college administrators, faculty, staff and students to the budget decision-making table. There is a budget committee designed to gather input from around the college and develop new ideas for cutting expenses, curtailing service hours, and maintaining a balanced budget.
Tuition Cap a Concern
One factor that greatly concerns Johns and the college's constituents is the possibility of a tuition cap by the Board of Trustees for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The Board is considering capping tuition at a 2 percent increase for the year which would be problematic for the college.
"We have worked very hard to only charge the tuition we need to run a lean operation here at Anoka-Ramsey," says Johns. "With the lowest tuition in the state, a restriction of a 2 percent increase equates to a much lower dollar amount than those colleges who have much higher tuition rates. It sort of punishes us for maintaining our low tuition for all of these years. This cap may prove problematic for us in fiscally tough times."
"We hope the Board of Trustees will consider our unique situation in the marketplace before making their final decision on a tuition cap."
College Cost Comparison
Many colleges within Minnesota have variable rates that depend upon programs or whether a person is from out of state. Anoka-Ramsey has one rate for all programs, no matter where a person resides.
Cost for Full Year, Full Time Student (30 credits)
- Anoka-Ramsey Community College: $ 4,100
- Average State University-Undergraduate: $ 6,373
- U of M Twin Cities-Undergraduate: $ 10,638
- Private Career Colleges: $ 12,233
- Average MN Private Colleges and Universities: $27,829
See college cost comparisons details.
For more information about Anoka-Ramsey Community College, visit, www.AnokaRamsey.edu.