Fees get higher, $46 per unit
State tuition increased by $10 for 2012-13 year
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 15:08
Students at Contra Costa College are digging deeper into their pockets as tuition fees have been raised again, bringing it to $46 per unit for the fall semester.
This is a $10 increase from last year as tuition stood at $36 for summer 2011 and all throughout the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters.
The $46 fee might not be permanent as tuition could possibly become more expensive for community college students in California in the future.
“It’s poised to get a lot worse if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass. Fees will skyrocket,” United Faculty President Dr. Jeffery Michels said.
Proposition 30, an amendment proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is a combination of two previous tax initiatives — Pasadena Attorney Molly Munger’s Millionaire’s Tax and Brown’s first Increase tax proposal.
Proposition 30 will increase income tax for people earning more than $250,000 for seven years and raise the statewide sales tax by 0.25 percent for four years.
If Proposition 30 successfully passes, the revenue is expected to bring in $6.8 to $9 million to the district for 2012-13 and 11 percent of the earnings will go toward schools, especially community colleges.
This would be favorable to CCC due to the state’s current budget crisis.
The budget revenue from the $10 fee increase isn’t helping and it’s arguable if it is beneficial, CCC President Denise Noldon said. If Proposition 30 passes, the incoming revenue would aid the college with funds so classes, staff and student services would not be cut.
What students might not be aware of is the state Legislature is in charge of setting the tuition fees. If Proposition 30 does not pass, they will continue to raise the fee without any objections.
The students have not been organized enough, Michels said. If there is no vocal or visible outcry from the colleges about the increase in tuition, the Legislature will then assume the students have no problem and will continuously raise the fee each year.
“It’s shifting the burden toward the students to pay for school and the cost of education,” he said.
Although there are services like financial aid to help students pay these fees, not everyone knows the process of how to receive aid.
Financial aid is dependant upon numerous factors. For example, one may not receive financial aid if the household family income is much too high to meet the parameters of someone who is considered to be low-income.
Economics major Alexandra Sanchez said she had to pay the fee out of pocket, but she is hoping to qualify for financial aid next semester.
Some students receive the California-funded Board of Governors Fee Waiver. This BOG waiver allows them to take community college classes and not pay tuition.
There are some who understand the difficulties for those who struggle to pay fees, Interim Vice President Donna Floyd said.
“It’s hard for people who have to pay out of pocket because they have to pay for that (fees), books and other stuff,” CCC student Efararima Danao said.
Students have the option of voting on Proposition 30, which will be listed among other propositions on the ballot on Nov. 6.
“We hope the outcome gets more revenue,” Dr. Noldon said. “We can’t predict the future.”