Students slapped with higher tuition fees

Ernesto Lopez

By the first day of school, 168 City College Students had been dropped from classes for not paying the tuition difference of $6 per unit.

The notice sent out on July 28 informed students that California State Legislature had increased tuition from $20 to $26 per unit, and if they had already paid their tuition they would have to pay the difference by Aug 20. Any student that didn’t pay the fee increase would be dropped from their registered classes.

“I commend our students who did the right thing on time and for being responsible. The number of students dropped (from classes) districtwide is lower than presumed,” Denise Hollis, admissions supervisor, said. “Only those students that ignored the notices (about the tuition fee increase) were affected.”

Hollis and the admissions department were ready for those students coming in to speak to them, upset over being dropped from their classes.

“We were biting our nails and nervous, thinking that students would go off on us, wanting to be put back in their classes, but it’s been orderly and all students impacted have been remarkably calm,” said Hollis.

Sgt. Jordan Mirakian mentioned that in an attempt to keep order and to watch out for possible students getting too upset, campus police were asked to be present during the first week of school around the admissions and financial aid area.

According to Financial Aid Supervisor Greg Sanchez, no one really got “out of control.”

Although the majority of City College students paid the additional fees, some students are still not accepting the increase in tuition.

“[I] had no other choice but to pay the tuition difference. It’s either work full time for low wages now or get an education now to get ready for better paying jobs in the future,” general education major Julie Flores said. “I was really stressed out. I thought I would be dropped from my classes and would have to re-enroll. I don’t work that much, and now I have to pay more?”

“Education is pushed a lot in society and when you get [to college] you have to pay a lot. It’s ridiculous,” child development major Tiana Frederick said. “And to make it worse, with this recession it’s hard to find a job to pay for school; more education is required to get better jobs. It’s just a mess.”

Students who pay for their education out of their own pockets are coping with the higher price of education by taking fewer units.

“Book prices went up as well, so I couldn’t take as many classes this semester. I would have to work more to afford all my text books,” business administration major Dave Preulard said. “Some of my friends were more affected by the tuition price change; they are not able to take a full load of classes in order to accommodate the increase in tuition and books.”

In total, 338 San Diego Community College District students were dropped from their classes. In addition to City’s drops, 29 students at Miramar College, 27 at Mesa College, and 14 at the Education Cultural Complex, added Sanchez.

Financial aid and third party scholarship recipients were not affected by the tuition increase; only those students that pay for their education out-of-pocket.

All Students concerned about the cost of tuition are being advised by the department of Financial Aid and Admissions to call their local elected officials to let know how they feel. Students can contact State Senator Christine Kehoe at (619) 645-3133 or State Assembly Member Lori Saldana at (619) 645-3090.