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Give students a fair deal

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Kevin Reynolds / Roundup

I believe it’s safe to say that I’m not alone in thinking that a fee increase from $26 to $40 is outrageous.

I understand that colleges across the board are suffering due to budget cutbacks. I even understand that to a degree that suffering gets passed down to the students, but a fee increase of $14 per unit is astronomical.

A five-unit class currently costs $130, and after the fee increase, the same class will cost $200. That doesn’t even include the cost of books and supplies.

It has been argued that paying less will cause more classes to be cut and that we as students will pay more by going to school for longer. However, paying more over a span of time is easier than paying more all at once.

The average community college freshman can barely afford the cost of classes now. If this fee increase takes effect the number of students who can afford to go to college will drop significantly.

It was only a few years ago that the fee per unit was dropped from $25 to $20 because it was too high for students. Now just a few short years later, we are paying $26 instead of $25 and they want to raise the amount another $14.

While it is true that we in California are still paying less than any other state in the country for college fees, the fact remains that California is one of the most broke states in the country.

We are struggling all over the state. Unemployment is at an all-time high, and with doctorate’s with 30 years of experience out in the job market, the younger generation with little or no experience that are still working to earn their degrees are finding it harder and harder to find well-paying jobs.

In times of poverty and need like we have now, education is one of the most important things there is. We need educated people to help come up with ways to fix our country’s current plight.

ASO President Nick Naczinski was quoted in a previous article of the Roundup speaking out against this increase. He also commented that financial aid would still be available, but that is arguable.

If a student is under the age of 24 and their parents make above a certain amount per year, the student is ineligible for any government grants.

This economy is affecting everyone, just because a student’s parents earn a certain amount per year doesn’t mean that they get to keep most of it.

With the high cost of utilities and credit debt through the roof, many parents cannot afford to pay for the children’s education, or even help.

Student loans are another problem all together. Sure most are eligible, but most people who take them spend the rest of their lives trying to pay them off. More people would rather not take a loan than have to worry about how they will pay it off once they graduate.

With the community colleges receiving $200,000 per year less then normal, I cannot argue that we as the students need to contribute, but within reason. $40 per unit is too much.

I agree that we as students need to help cover the cost and would personally be willing to agree to a much smaller increase; maybe even some form of community service being required to help the campus cover some of the costs.

Without funding a college can’t offer the services they are supposed to, the same services we students have come to rely on. I am not without sympathy to the institutions themselves. But a middle ground must be met or the number of people able to gain an education will begin to drop off.

 

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