Student life under a budget

Fee increases and less classes pushes back academic schedules


“All fees are subject to change,” states the San Diego City College website in bright red, bold letters.
Students know that statement all too well, thanks to the recent $10 per unit increase. The increase makes student fees 28 percent higher than Spring semester and is the second increase in under three years.

The entire district is facing a $400 million budget cut. Raising tuition from $26 to $36 per unit is just one of the adjustments that the district had to make.

Even with the tuition at California community colleges increasing to $36 a unit, the cost of classes is still less than the national average of $1,080. California community college tuition still remains the lowest in the nation, according to a national tuition survey conducted in March 2010.

According to the study posted on, during the 2009-2010 semesters, a student taking 15 units at a California community college would pay an average of $780, which included textbooks and other fees. The national average for community colleges was $3,029.

The cost of living in San Diego is significantly higher than other areas of the nation, making the $10 increase per unit a strain on students. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics the western United States’ cost of living is 13.5 percent above the national average.

For full-time students who work, the high cost of living is always a struggle to handle.

“I have no one providing for me, except me,” said student Laura M. Martinez. “I have a full time job and I’m sad to say that school comes second.

In addition to the fee increase fewer courses are being offered, making schedules harder to arrange.

“It’s going to take me way longer to get the classes I need to transfer…It’s harder to get the schedule I need,” Martinez said.

“The raise of tuition to $36 a unit does make a big difference,” said student Bree Junghans. “I have to save a lot more just to go to school. Community college is way cheaper than paying tuition at a CSU or UC, but increases are all around.”

In a statement on City College’s website, the President of San Diego City College, Terrence J. Burgess addressed students saying, “With increasing economic challenges impinging on education, City College is working hard to accommodate your busy work and family schedules. We offer more than 100 majors, 100 certificate programs and 1,500 classes each semester, many online.”

View Comments (1)
Donate to City Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Diego City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, cover the cost of training and travel to conferences, and fund student scholarships. Credit card donations are not tax deductible. Instead, those donations must be made by check. Please contact adviser Nicole Vargas for more information at [email protected].

More to Discover
Donate to City Times

Comments (1)

Comments are Closed.
All City Times Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest
  • B

    Bernie RhinersonAug 30, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Cecilia, very informative and well written article.

Activate Search
The news site of San Diego City College
Student life under a budget