Regents stand firm in keeping SPC affordable

By Noah Lopez/Texan Mosaic

Students are the lifeblood of South Plains College, and their experience and upcoming student events were the focus of Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting. 

South Plains College Board of Regents held a meeting at the Levelland campus in the administration building on Thursday, October 12. The meeting included information about student enrollment numbers, the upcoming winter graduation, and tuition costs for students.  

Stan DeMerritt, Vice President of Student Affairs, gave the board information about credit hours. He assured the board that while overall, numbers are down slightly in terms of credits, the college is in good shape in that contact hours are where they need to be. 

“More courses are requiring more hours, lab hours, clinical hours, overall,” DeMerritt said. “That’s okay because we are funded by contact hours.” 

Graduation applications were due October 9, and information given to the board indicates that there are 532 students graduating this semester and 268 students who will be attending the ceremony. 

“We feel pretty confident with 268. More than likely they’ll show up because you have 90 percent of those who say they want to walk show up for the ceremony,” said DeMerritt. 

Graduation is set for December 15. This is South Plains College first graduation ceremony to be held in the winter for the fall semester. Demerritt believes that due to this being the first, there may be more student interest and could reach the 300 threshold for students walking in the ceremony.  

The board was asked by Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of South Plains College, if they wanted to increase the tuition cost for students for the spring semester. The board discussed the recent funding by the state, House Bill 8, and the dedication to keeping an affordable price tag for students at South Plains College as reasons to not increase at this time, but to revisit the idea in March.  

“Mr. Chairman, if it’s okay I’d love to have a motion. It needs to be a statement that we are not going to do this,” said Dr.Satterwhite. 

After some discussion regarding tuition, Chairman of the Board Mike Box said that it seems the board has agreed that raising tuition for the spring semester was not necessary. Mr. Box said that they would just let the motion die, but Dr. Satterwhite wanted it to be clear that the college was on the side of the students’ pockets. 

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