Miscommunication costs RPCC system $100,000 in tuition fees

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POSTED: Monday, September 30, 2013 - 6:08pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 6:16pm

Some might call it a simple mistake, but a little miscommunication between the old and new financial officers at the River Parish Community College is to blame for tens of thousands in missing tuition dollars.

"The specific dollar amount that was supposed to go in to the tuition increase was in his email box, so we didn't learn about it until after the fact," explained interim Chancellor Bill Martin.

The community college was supposed to raise its tuition rates by just $2 a credit hour for students in the 2012-2013 school year. It would have been a minor increase, but one that has now added up for the college.

"All of our institutions are hurting for funds and so when you leave $100,000 that you didn't collect, that is important," said Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera.

The college was not forced to make any lay-offs, but leaders did have to dip in to reserve funds and make cut backs on operational costs.

"I think we've made the point that while certainly we didn't collect that amount of money, it didn't affect anything that we do day to day, we sort of operated as usual," said Martin.

Purpera said that this is the first time, to his knowledge, that they have seen a university undercharge their students; As for those students, they haven’t made any complaints.

"We heard no student complaints for charging them less, they were not aware that they were being charged less," said Martin.

The community college will not be fined or penalized according to Purpera, but it will be forced to put better measures in place to make sure this doesn't happen again.

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