California Bill Raises Community College Tuition

by Jessica Dembeck

Widener University American Government Student

Finally, it sounds like at least one state has the accessibility for all students that universities across the nation claim to have, and now legislators have debuted a pilot program, which in essence takes away that accessibility from students. Paul Fain comments on this controversial bill that was recently passed in California in his article entitled “Two-Tiered Tuition is Back ”. According to Fain’s article, six eligible colleges will now be able to charge students the going rate for nonresident students, “which are more than three times the $46 per-credit rate that local students pay.”

That hike in tuition is supposed to channel a third of the revenue from these classes back as a resource for financial aid for low income students. Well, that sounds great in theory, but the bill itself does not offer much supervision for this trial. The California community college system seemed to have it all together prior to the passing of this bill. Compare the tuition of the Community College of Philadelphia  with those of California community colleges, and Philadelphians are looking at a technology fee that is more than half of what Californians were paying for a single credit hour.

Why are legislators in California trying to fix what wasn’t broken? On the California community colleges website , they have a bunch of statistics, but three of them stood out the most. 1) For every $1 California invests in students who graduate from college, it will receive a net return on investment of $4.50. 2) Californians with a college degree will earn $1,340,000 more than their peers with only a high school diploma. Students who earn a degree or certificate from a California community college nearly double their earnings within three years. 3)Funding for California Community Colleges has been cut by $1.5 billion since 2007-08. With all of that said, why wouldn’t the government invest in the community colleges of California instead of making the students pay three times as much?

 

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