Budget Overview and Basis
- The Community College of Rhode Island prepares and submits its annual budget request to the Rhode Island Office of Higher Education (OHE) for review and consolidation with the budgets of the other institutions and the Office. The comprehensive budget for Higher Education is presented to Board of Governors for Higher Education for formal approval and submission to the State of Rhode Island Budget Office.
- The budget formulation process begins with budgetary parameters as prescribed by the Office of Higher Education and the State Budget Office. As part of the budget development, the college requests tuition and fee modifications for the subsequent fiscal year in accordance with guidelines provided by OHE to be approved by the Board of Governors.
- The typical budget cycle is as follows:
- August – Submission of College budget to OHE.
- September – OHE submission of comprehensive Higher Education budget to Board of Governors for approval and submission to the State Budget Office.
- January – Governor required by statute to submit budget request for subsequent fiscal year to General Assembly as well as any supplemental appropriation changes for current fiscal year.
- June – General Assembly passes appropriations act establishing funding levels for fiscal year which begins July 1st.
- The formulation of the college’s budget is the responsibility of the Business Manager who reports to the Vice President for Business Affairs. The Business Manager is responsible for the oversight and control of budgetary functions which include controls to ensure that college expenditures are consistent with allotted revenues.
- The college evaluates long term financial needs and implications when formulating personnel, operating and capital budgets as well as the implications of budgetary policies and cash management.
- The college follows the State of Rhode Island’s fiscal year which runs from July 1st through June 30th.
- CCRI is required to submit a balanced budget in which estimated revenues equal or exceed estimated expenditures.
- The college’s operating budget uses modified accrual basis of accounting which states that revenues are recognized in the accounting period they become available and measurable. Expenditures are recognized in the accounting period that the fund liability was incurred. Purchase Orders and other commitments use encumbrance accounting in order to record the expenditure of funds in the proper fiscal year in order to reserve the applicable portion of state appropriation of that year.
UNRESTRICTED - funding that support the General Revenue budget of the college. These funds are unrestricted in the sense that the college has a reasonable level of autonomy on how they may be used to support the college's mission and goals; however, expenditures must be legal and ethical within State of Rhode Island and Board of Governors' policies and guidelines. Primary sources of unrestricted revenues:
State Appropriation- revenues legislated to the college by the General Assembly.
- The General Assembly enacts the state appropriation specifically for each institution. Under current RI law, the Board of Governors cannot transfer these funds between institutions.
Tuition and Fees- revenues generated by the institution through student enrollment
- Student tuition and fee rates must be approved by the Board of Governors. The General Assembly does not have the authority to set these rates or to change recommendations approved by the Board of Governors. The level of college enrollment and the distribution of students between full time and part-time, in-state and out-of-state, affect this revenue stream.
Indirect Cost Recovery- revenues resulting from federal student aid & grants
- These are revenues that result from federal student aid options such as Pell grants and college work study funds. Federal and state grants also produce indirect costs revenues to the college to offset administrative costs not directly attributable to the grant project. The Bookstore is also charged an indirect cost.
Sales & Service of Educational Activities- primarily fee-based self-supporting programs
- The activities offered by the college through the CWCE division fall into this category. These programs are designed to be self sufficient as well as contribute positively to the college's overall budget and mission. Includes programs such as Motorcycle Training, Commercial Driver's Licensing, GED, as well as training programs through the Centers of Training and Development.
Other Income- all other unrestricted revenue streams to the college
- Includes interest income, facility rental, as well as student placement & testing fees
RESTRICTED - These are funds that are designated to the institution by a 3rd party for a specific purpose and those funds can only be used for that purpose. This category includes federal, state and private grants, federal grants and scholarships, Driver's Education and the RI Capital Asset Protection program.
- AUXILIARY SERVICES - These are funds that are designated as auxiliary by the college's bond indenture and include the Bookstore, Dining Commissions and Student Union fees. These funds are permitted to generate profits, however, these profits must be deposited into various Bond Reserve funds. These reserves can be accessed by the institution, with Board of Governor approval, for specific projects.