Report shows Yavapai cost per student highest in Az.

The Verde Independent
Friday, August 31, 2007
Philip Wright

The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) released some community college per-student cost figures in July stating that Yavapai College is the highest in Arizona.

Bob Lynch, chief financial officer for Yavapai College, said school officials know the college is among the highest on full-time student equivalent (FTSE) cost.

ATRA figures showed the full-time student equivalent (FTSE) cost for Yavapai College at $10,094. That includes $8,650 for the primary tax levy and $1,444 for state aid. According to Lynch, Yavapai College's figures for the primary levy aren't much different from ATRA.

The next highest community college for combined FTSE of primary levy and state aid is Pinal County Community College at $9,385. The lowest FTSE cost among the state's 11 community college districts is a little under $4,000.

"We know we're one of the higher FTSEs, and we're trying to find out why," Lynch said.

He said some likely reasons are that Yavapai College is a young college with state-of-the-art technology and more computer labs.

Lynch said the college is conducting an intense self-study.

Sue Sammarco, director of marketing and public relations, explained how that self-evaluation is being conducted.

Yavapai College is taking part in a benchmark study with four other rural community colleges to determine what their practices are in a variety of service areas.

"Using enrollment, full-time student counts and multiple campus status as selection criteria, the Service Area Review Committee selected these benchmark colleges: Arizona Western College, Central Arizona College, Cochise College and Mohave Community College," Sammarco said.

She said information is being gathered and analyzed by staff in areas of business and research to see if the figures fall within reasonable parameters for the study.

Sammarco said that although the process is not complete, the results show that Yavapai College departments consistently deliver more services with equal or fewer people that the other colleges in the evaluation.

"It is expected that the final reports will demonstrate that the cost of FTSE for Yavapai College can be supported by consistent, high quality services for the communities and community members served throughout Yavapai County," Sammarco said.