The board of trustees at Jamestown Community College approved a $32.7 million operating budget for the 2021-22 academic year Tuesday with no change to tuition rates.

The college announced in January that it would not increase tuition for the 2021-22 academic year, recognizing the financial constraints on students and families brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I appreciate the efforts of JCC’s administrative team to develop a strong budget as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Daniel DeMarte, JCC president.

College officials said being at this point and having this budget approved without any tuition increase at all is for students and is something JCC is excited about given the economic pressures from the pandemic.

Full-time New York resident tuition rates remained at $5,200 for the year, while out-of-state tuition rates remained at $10,400 per year. The tuition freeze calls for the same rates for 2022.

The approved $32.77 million budget includes $3.2 million in relief money received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and also represents a state aid rate of $2,997 per full-time equivalent.

“We appreciate the board’s willingness to adopt this budget, which is the product of a great many months of work by our team here at JCC,” said Michael Martello, vice president of administration. “This new budget represents careful planning moving forward anticipating that full recovery from the pandemic may take two-to-three years.”

After a $4 million deficit in the 2020 budget, there are no cuts for 2021. Officials said some significant sacrifices were made throughout the pandemic, but there are several new positions in this budget.

Additionally, officials said some of the positions that were reduced during the pandemic are being brought back and the college is not looking at any cuts moving forward. JCC is also looking to add back to the employee base before COVID-19.

DeMarte said he is also appreciative to the college’s sponsoring counties in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus for their continued support during this challenging time.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have remained committed to upholding our fiscal responsibility, while maintaining the same high quality education on which we have built our reputation for the last seven decades,” he added.

According to JCC’s website, SUNY policy will require all students accessing SUNY facilities in-person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination before the start of the fall 2021 semester, with limited exceptions. This requirement will take effect when at least one COVID-19 vaccination receives full FDA approval and reasonable availability to all students who request such a vaccine.

If a student is taking online coursework only and has no plans to participate in any on-campus activities or interactions, the COVID-19 vaccination is not required.

(Contact editor/reporter Kellen Quigley at kquigley@oleantimesherald.com.)

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