Holland College intends to keep its tuition increase at two per cent this year, though administrators will have to cut out all travel and freeze hiring to make the numbers work.
Sandy MacDonald, president of the college, told CBC News that the COVID-19 pandemic led to the need to "cast and recast our budget."
Eventually, administrators chose to stick with the two-per-cent increase the board passed back in March rather than raise fees to cope with a $2-million loss from falling enrolment and the $1-million cost of switching to distance learning, among other expenses.
"We decided to do that because our tuitions are already high; our international differentials are the lowest in the region but our tuitions are the highest in the region."
MacDonald said fees won't have to soar for the remaining students because the college will be "putting a freeze on hiring, cutting all our travel, making significant cuts in budget lines right across the board and leaving our tuitions as we originally suggested they would be."
Tuition rates start at about $6,000 for a diploma program and about $5,000 for a course working toward a certificate.
Classes to start early next month
Classes will start for most Holland College students in the first week of September, though those enrolled in tourism and culinary centre courses won't begin until November.
"Some will be face-to-face to start, some will be online to start, and some will be a mix to start," MacDonald said of the learning structure.
A month ago, the college announced that it was suspending five programs for the upcoming school year to "minimize the financial impact" of the pandemic.
That meant four employees would be laid off and 25 others would be offered reduced hours, or delayed contract start dates.
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