Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed budget was welcomed by the state university system.
But community colleges are worried.
Corbett's budget calls for level funding across higher education, a stark contrast to recent years of proposing state university system funding to be cut by as much as half.
Flat funding for universities such as Millersville would be an improvement compared to what they've faced, according to school officials.
But for community colleges, which have generally fared better in Corbett budgets, level funding won't be enough next school year.
Tuition hikes of 10 percent or more might come to pass this summer if the budget negotiations don't result in more funding, said Diane Borsak, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.
The commission is a nonprofit membership organization, with Harrisburg Area Community College as a member. HACC deferred comment on Corbett's budget to the commission.
"I don't know how we'll be able to go below 10 percent," Borsak said.
Corbett has been helpful to community colleges in the past, she emphasized. The surge of enrollment in recent years has slowed and employers are demanding new programs - which means new costs - to keep up with training.
There's a skills gap between what employers want and what the work force offers that HACC and other community colleges are designed to address, Borsak said. That's why it's critical the needed funding be provided.
And community colleges are also the most affordable option in the state, she added. If a tuition hike puts HACC's costs out of the range of what someone can afford, people won't have a place to turn for a post-secondary degree. And when those people don't end up getting degrees, the entire workforce suffers, she said.
That means lobbying for more funding, she said.
"Community colleges have never been institutions where there are a lot of areas where we can cut. There's nowhere else to go," Borsak said.
HACC's tuition and fees for most York County students per semester are $2,748 for 12 credits, a full-time workload.
Students who live in a sponsoring district - in York County, that's only West Shore School District - are charged $2,022 for 12 credits.
- Reach Andrew Shaw at email@example.com
Harrisburg Area Community College is a state-funded community college system for students pursuing degrees and certifications, and is often used by students to transfer to a four-year school to finish a bachelor's degree.
For the 2012-13 school year, here are the in-state tuition and fee rates for full-time students living in York County:
* HACC: $2,748 semester/$5,496 year (Students living in West Shore School District pay $700 less a semester);
* Millersville University (Public): $4,300 semester/$8,600 year;
* Penn State York (Semi-Public): $6,237 semester/$12,474 year (Freshman and sophomore rate)
* York College of Pennsylvania (Private): $8,505 semester/$17,010 year