Increased fees, more students, less services

Students attending the Peralta Colleges this fall are faced with higher fees, crowded classrooms and reduced educational options.

The governor approved a 30 percent fee increase this summer, effective for the Fall 2009 semester, increasing student enrollment fees to $26 per unit, up from $20. This increase was justified as a way to reduce California's deficit.

The fee increase was passed by the state legislature and approved by the governor in July, meaning that students who registered for classes at $20 per unit will have to pay an extra $6 per unit.

The fee increase was made retroactive for students who had registered for classes before the legislation was passed.

Marlene C. Hurd, Region III senator of the Student Senate for the California Community Colleges (SSCCC), a statewide student group that represents students, called the increase a form of taxing students and balancing the budget on the backs of students.

"It's a shame. At a time when California should be retraining its population, these fee increases and budget cuts will make it more difficult for people to get an education," Hurd said. "The fees will make it more difficult for students to meet their other expenses.

"Every dollar I have to spend is one more dollar out of my pocket," said Laney student Jo Nathan Williams. The fee increase "means I have to hustle up more money and try to save more money."

Williams is one of many community college students who qualify for a fee waiver from the California Community Colleges' Board of Governors (BOG). Students getting the BOG waiver do not have to pay enrollment fees.

"To qualify (for a BOG waiver), a student must be a California resident, receive public assistance or meet a designated income standard, or be eligible for federal and/or state need-based financial aid," according to the Financial Aid page on the Laney College website.

"Before my fees were waived, my bill was like $600," said Williams, who qualifies for the BOG fee waiver. "That's way more than it'd normally be." He said some of his classmates who don't qualify for the fee waiver are feeling the increase and are struggling to make ends meet.

Read Complete Story in Laney Tower.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More