Enrollment at Alamo Colleges on decline

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The district over-budgeted tuition revenues.

By Zachary-Taylor Wright


The Alamo Community College District experienced a nearly zero enrollment increase between fall 2015 and fall 2016 and underestimated the number of exemptions and waivers, causing the district to overestimate tuition revenues by $2.7 million.

The board reviewed several presentations about the tuition revenue shortfall at the Dec. 6 audit, budget and finance committee meeting.

According to a tuition and enrollment summary presentation, the district projected a 5.6 percent increase in enrollment from the fall 2015 semester to the fall 2016 census date, but only saw a 0.2 percent increase.

According to the presentation, the majority of the 0.2 percent growth came from high school programs.

The district budgeted for $13.3 million in exemptions and waivers but actual exemptions and waivers for fiscal year 2017 amounted to $13.7 million, resulting in the district being $400,000 under budget.

The district budgeted for the enrollment of 62,636 students by the census date of fall 2016, but only 59,413 students enrolled.

The district had 59,313 students enrolled by the census date of fall 2015.

According to the enrollment reports in the district’s annual budget report  76,797 students enrolled during fiscal year 2015 and 79,920 students enrolled in fiscal year 2014.

According to the enrollment reports, 93,218 students enrolled in fiscal year 2010.

The district budgeted for a gross tuition of $53.6 million for fiscal year 2017 but the actual gross tuition for the fiscal year was $51.3 million, meaning the district received $2.3 million less in tuition revenues than budgeted for.

According to a contact hour summary exhibit presented to the board at the Dec. 3 meeting, the district approved a budget estimating students at this college would have 2,130,626 classroom contact hours.

The presentation states that 2,433,369 classroom contact hours were reached by the fall 2016 census date.

The presentation states that the district budgeted for 151,351 clinical contact hours and 271,824 lab contact hours at this college, but only 41,680 clinical contact hours and 64,848 lab contact hours were reached at this college by the fall 2016 census date.

Between classroom, clinical and lab contact hours budgeted by the district and the actual census contact hours, Palo Alto College is the only college to come in at or above the budgeted numbers.

According to the presentation, the district had 2.9 percent fewer contact hours than budgeted for.

The approved fiscal year 2017 budget also underestimated the rollover tuition funds from fiscal year 2016 by $2,156,141, which estimated a rollover of $69,061,857 but $71,217,998 remained after expenses for fiscal year 2016 and was added to the unrestricted funds.

This addition to the beginning fund balances accommodated most of the fiscal year 2017 budgeted tuition revenue shortfall.


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