November 28, 2021

More money for non-Cortland community colleges

Cortland County Seal

Cortland County legislators hope that an additional $50,000 will cover the costs the county pays annually for students going to community colleges outside of the county.

Legislators voted, 7-0, Tuesday during a Budget and Finance meeting to put the additional money into the account to pay for the costs after County Administrator Rob Corpora said the county is still waiting on two months worth of bills and already owes $10,000.

Legislator Cathy Bischoff (D-Cortland) asked if this normally happens year to year.

Corpora said the county typically budgets from $330,000 to $350,000.

“So this is not unusual and we’re hoping it’s going to be about half of this,” he said.

But it’s all still a guess.

“It’s a ballpark,” Corpora said. “We do the best we can when we budget. It’s inconsistent as far as who goes to college, where they go to college and as you know the economy affects their enrollment considerably.”

A 2018 Census analysis found that during economic downturn and periods of high unemployment people tend to enroll in colleges and in particular, community colleges to expand their skill sets.

“The types of programs offered at two-year colleges and the lower cost relative to four-year colleges, which offer different programs of study, may account for some of the increase in enrollment at two-year colleges that occurred during the recession and into the recovery,” states the analysis.

Cortland has paid chargebacks at the following community colleges:

  • SUNY Adirondack.
  • SUNY Broome Community College.
  • Cayuga Community College.
  • Corning Community College.
  • Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • Finger Lakes Community College.
  • Fulton-Montgomery Community College.
  • Genesee Community College.
  • Herkimer County Community College.
  • Hudson Valley Community College.
  • Jefferson Community College.
  • Mohawk Valley Community College.
  • Monroe Community College.
  • Niagara County Community College.
  • Onondaga Community College.
  • Sullivan County Community College.

The full Legislature is expected to vote on the resolution at its Dec. 17 meeting.