*File photo
*File photo

Bermuda College appears to be on the verge of slashing student tuition discounts as a result of Bermuda’s budget reductions.

In a statement sent to students earlier this month, Bermuda College President Dr. Duranda Greene said tuition discounts will be decreased. The discounts will be phased out over a two-year period, according to Dr. Greene’s statement, starting this fall. During the 2014-2015 school year, tuition discounts will be halved. That means, for those receiving current discounts, a three-credit course that cost $307 will cost $393. A full 12-credit course load that cost $1,072 will now cost $1,339.

“As you are aware, Bermuda remains in the chokehold of one of the worst recessions in recent history; and, in efforts to get the island back on track, the government, of necessity, introduced some austerity measures to begin to reduce the country’s huge debt,” she said through the letter. 

“As a recipient of government funding, Bermuda College, along with other government departments, has had its budget cut by 7 per cent (approximately $1.3 million).”

The following year — the 2015-2016 academic school year — there will be no discount, according to Dr. Greene’s statement, meaning all students will be paying full tuition.

Currently, a three-credit course without discounts costs $480, according to the college’s web site. A full 12-credit course load costs $1605, according to the site.

“As distressing as this news may be for some, be reminded that the tuition at Bermuda College is still heavily subsidized by the Government, and Bermuda College still provides excellent value for a comparative quality education overseas,” said Dr. Greene in the statement.

Financial aid

In the statement, Dr. Greene says students do have financial assistance options such as financial aid, payment plans with extended deadlines, scholarships and in-house awards from the college’s sponsors.

The proposed reductions to student discounts are pending approval of the board of Governors, which met last night. The outcome of the vote was not available before press time. Dr Greene’s office, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment before the board’s vote.

The Ministry of Education did not comment before deadline. The head of Bermuda College’s student union could not be reached for comment.