City College raised its non-residential student tuition fee yet again after increasing over the 2015-2016 school year.
I believe this was a step in the wrong direction considering City College’s recent enrollment drop and the fact that non-residential students make the college what it is today.
This is a place cultures meet and mix to create the “salad bowl” the college represents. It is diversity that many students and faculty agree they’re proud of. When walking around campus you’ll not only see people from different states, but different continents. While hanging out in the Luria Library, Life Fitness Center, or by La Playa Stadium you’ll hear a wide variety of foreign languages being spoken. Unfortunately, this is something that might alter due to the recent $23 increase in tuition for non-residential students.
As an international student myself, I worry how this decision will affect me and many of my friends who are already struggle to pay semester tuition on top of high living expenses. Although the increase from $235 per unit to $258 may seem small, the units and money add up to a larger expense.
For all students already enrolled at the college, this increase could affect their ability to continue their studies here in Santa Barbara. Many non-residential students are already dealing with being unable to have a job on the side of their studies. This has caused them to worry about how their future tuition will be paid.
Recently, there has been a boost of support for tuition-free community colleges for local students. That proves people’s disagreement in how expensive it is in the first place. The idea for a better chance at a higher education should be available to all students, yet City College is making it more difficult for non-residential students.
Enrollment dropped at the college by 1,600 students last semester. This tuition hike could add to this problem, causing a greater drop in enrollment. I believe City College should focus on increasing its enrollment rather than increasing its tuition. By not doing so, the college is risking a continued downward slope in enrollment. This will also lead to cutting classes due to a lack of funding.
The tuition increase is aimed to aid City College in fixing its current $9 million debt. The decision had to be made immediately due to the immediacy of the deadline. Although fixing the college’s debt is important, it is necessary to discuss alternative solutions.
It doesn’t seem fair to change the tuition so suddenly. This came to a shock to all currently enrolled students along with added stress that this decision contributes. The Board of Trustees agrees that the decision is unfair to current students and is going to further discuss how to prevent this.
I believe there should be a discussion about a different solution to the school’s debt instead. Non-residential students need to be accounted for as a valuable part of the college.