- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—DIXON — Anticipating a dip in enrollment, the Sauk Valley Community College Board of Trustees on Monday night approved a budget a bit lower than previously expected.

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The $14.9 million 2016 budget has $307,250 less than the tentative budget the board approved in June. School officials expect a 7 percent enrollment decline for the upcoming school year.

At this time last year, students signed up for a little more than 20,000 credit hours, compared to a 18,000 credit hours projection for the 2015-16 year.

“Students still have a couple weeks to register for classes, so this number can go up or down,” said Melissa Dye, dean of business services at Sauk. “This is just a guess as to where we are at right now.”

School officials base their revenue dollars off the credit hours students sign up for, instead of a head count.

“You can have one person taking 9 hours, or another person taking 12 hours,” Dye said.

Instead of making painful cuts or raising tuition to offset the shortfall, Dye said Sauk will spend some of the $6.1 million the college has in cash reserves.

The tentative budget was projected based on enrollment numbers from last year; officials recently received this year’s projected numbers.

“A 7 percent decline does not seem like a lot, but dollar-wise, it adds up fast,” Dye said. “There is still time for the enrollment numbers to increase.”

Sauk is slated to receive more than $1.9 million from the state for the upcoming school year, and is still owed $287,870 from Fiscal Year 2015.

“The state is always a few months behind on their payments,” Dye said. “We will not know true state funding until the state passes its Fiscal Year 2016 budget. This is money we get from the state to offset our expenses to run the college. The money comes every year, and it’s based off our enrollment and based off of our equalized assessed value.”

In other business, David Hellmich attended his first meeting as president of the college.

“I’m thrilled to be here and thrilled to be working with such a great board and such wonderful faculty and staff,” he said. “I look forward to a very long and fruitful relationship.”

NEXT MEETING

The next Sauk Valley Community College Board of Trustees meeting will be at 6 p.m. August 24 in the third floor board room, 173 state Route 2, Dixon.

Visit www.svcc.edu or call 815-835-6303 for an agenda or more information.

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(c)2015 the Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.)

Visit the Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.) at www.saukvalley.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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