County under budget about $400K in 2022 for community college chargebacks

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 January 2023 at 9:15 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Genesee Community College’s main campus in Batavia is shown in this file photo from March 2021. GCC also operates campus centers in Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties.

ALBION – Orleans County, which spent over $2 million in community college chargebacks in 2020, was well below its budgeted amount in 2022 of $2,050,000.

The county paid $1,657,803 to community colleges last year. That was down from $1,839,535 in 2021 and $2,214,515 in 2020.

The $2.2 million total in 2020 prompted county legislators to set a $2,050,000 cap for the county expense, with anything cost over that to be paid by towns in the county.

But since the $2,050,000 cap was put in place for 2021, the county hasn’t exceeded that amount, meaning the towns haven’t had to pay.

By state law, counties contribute to the community college costs for residents, even if they take classes at community colleges in other counties. The formula was supposed to be the counties, the state and student each paying about a third of the costs, but the state percentage has dropped, pushing a higher percentage of the cost on students and the counties.

Among students in Orleans County, Genesee Community College is the most popular option – by far. GCC accounted for $1,284,261 or 77.5 percent of the county’s total chargebacks of $1,657,803, according to data from the county treasurer’s office.

GCC operates a campus center in Medina, as well as the main campus in Batavia, and other campus centers in Wyoming and Livingston counties. GCC also offers online classes.

Here is a breakdown of what the county was billed for chargebacks from community colleges in the state:

  • Genesee Community College ­– $1,284,261
  • Niagara County Community College – $139,237
  • Monroe Community College – $122,694
  • Fashion Institute of Technology – $50,049
  • Erie Community College – $22,687
  • Finger Lakes Community College – $21,517
  • Mohawk Valley Community College –$4,997
  • Jefferson Community College – $2,893
  • Onondaga Community College – $2,613
  • Jamestown Community College – $2,475
  • Jefferson Community College – $1,666
  • Cayuga County Community College – $1,664
  • North Country Community College – $531
  • Hudson Valley Community College – $528

The operating chargeback rate for GCC for full-time students is $5,890, plus a $300 capital charge rate per full-time student. That compares to the operating chargeback rates of $4,330 in Erie, $4,560 in Monroe and $6,360 for NCCC.

The Fashion Institute of Technology has the highest operating chargeback in the state at $16,800 per full-time student while Onondaga Community College is the lowest at $2,960.