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An independent audit for 2011-2012 revealed that PJC’s net assets increased by more than $3 million for the year, and the audit found no reportable deficiencies or weaknesses in any federal or state programs.
“You got a clean opinion,” said Andy Riech, an accountant with McClanahan and Holmes. “It’s what’s not included that’s important.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board compared Paris’s finances for 2011 with 23 other community colleges around the state. PJC came near the top in all six categories:
“It’s amazing some of the negative numbers you see on here,” Board President Curtis Fendley said after reviewing a chart.
PJC President Dr. Pam Anglin replied that 2011 was a tough year for junior colleges.
“We look very good compared with the other schools,” she said. “We are one of the most financially sound community colleges in the state.”
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System used that same list of colleges to compare them for its own report, which showed similar results.
According to IPEDS, it costs less to attend classes at PJC than many other colleges. The cost of attendance, based on tuition and fees, is $1,284. The average for similar schools is $1,940.
More students are on some kind of financial aid at Paris Junior College – 68 percent of the student population, compared with 50 percent for the peer group. About 44 percent of students at PJC get Pell grants, where only 36 percent get the grants at other schools.
PJC has a higher graduation rate than its peers at 19 percent, compared with 15 percent average for the others. That number may seem low, Anglin said, but that’s because IPEDS only counts first-time, full-time students seeking degrees who come to the college for the first time. Community college students tend to move and transfer a fair amount, she said.
Staffing is less at PJC in most categories, except for professional support and service staff, where it’s closer to other schools. The average faculty salary at PJC is $54,418, compared with $51,705 for the other colleges. Paris has a lot of long-tenured staff at the top of their pay scales, Anglin said.
IPEDS also found that PJC spends less than its peers in most categories, except student services, where it spends $763 per full time equivalent – compared with $767 for other schools. It also spends more in public service – $259 compared with $210 per FTE. Public service includes all the industrial training grants PJC gets.
“We stretch a dollar further than other community colleges in the state of Texas,” Anglin said. “And we do it with fewer people.”
In other business, the regents: