SDCCD out-state fee increases $5 per unit


Illustration by Celia Jimenez

Jacquelyn Lim

A tuition hike of $5 per unit for out-of -state students will come this fall affecting at least 3 percent of students at City College, and 5 percent of students in the San Diego Community College District, including San Diego Mesa and Miramar Colleges.

Chancellor Constance Carroll made the announcement at the Board of Trustees’ monthly meeting in January.

Currently, the non-resident tuition fee is $193 per unit. Including the cost of enrollment at $46, non-resident tuition will increase from $239 to a total of $244 per unit.

Carroll explained the increase, linking it to an annual review done by the state and the compensation of funds that do not cover the costs of instruction. Fees are determined in consultation with contiguous districts.

“It’s time this year to re-index/recalculate what the non-resident fee should be,” Carroll said.

Executive Vice Chancellor Bonnie Ann Dowd stated how much fees differed from other districts in the area.

“Per the information by the state chancellor’s office, the average for this next year is $211 as the tuition rate. Based upon our actual cost, it computes (in our district) $198; that’s $13 less than the state-wide average,” Dowd said.

Dowd gave context to her statement saying, “We are asking people to consider it is an increase but it is an increase way below the contiguous districts in our area.”

The San Diego Community College District is the only district in the area not increasing the fees to the state average of $13 per unit.

Non-resident students at City College are feeling the financial strain.

“I don’t know when or how they increase tuition, I just have to pay it,” said Joanna Szoloch, a non-resident student at City College.

“Even though the tuition increase is only a couple of dollars, adding up units makes it a bigger amount and tuition is hard to pay.”

Non-resident students can take a year-long break from school to establish residency, that way they can avoid paying out-of-state fees.

Some students look for support with making tuition payments, including reaching out to non-profits dedicated to expanding access to education. But, not all programs or options to enroll in one are offered in every state.

“I became an out-of-state student when I lived in Arizona and became a resident there, so I had to pay out-of-state fees when I came back to California,” said current City College student Michael Markulin.

“Luckily, in Arizona I was able to apply for a program with a non-profit that helped me pay my tuition there. “