Spring semester at COC is only two weeks in and blue flyers are being distributed around campus informing students that tuition fees are expected to go up to $46 per unit.
COC’s tuition fees have a history of going up and down; however, since 2009, the fees have only gone up – from $26 per unit to $36 per unit, and now, $46 per unit.
“Some advocacy groups out there like the LAO office, they’ve put out that it should go to $60 per unit,” says Jasmine Ruys COC’s Director for Admissions, Records and Online Services.
Students are complaining that COC is raising tuition fees and many want to know why the fees are going up yet another semester.
“The state legislature vote on what our fee structure is that we can offer at community colleges.
“It’s not like CSU’s or UC’s where their regents or chancellors will vote it in. Ours is set by the state.” says Ruys.
According to Ruys, when students pay their registration fees, the school then turns in those funds to the state.
The state, in turn, sends the school the amount of money it feels is needed based on the amount of students at that school.
What students don’t know is that each California community college runs off of the same system and although prices may seem to be rising, California holds the cheapest tuition fees for community colleges in the country.
With fees increasing the seven-day grace period given for students to pay for registration is being taken away.
“We gotten rid of the seven days thing, so what it is now is payments due at the time of registration.”
“We don’t have a set day that we do drops on … come fall, we’re going to do it every single night … it will be part of the programming the computer,” Ruys said.
Students have been warned: through flyers, on the website, on My Canyons and in as many ways as possible.
For students who are in deep financial need, the warning should help them get their BOG waiver application in as soon as possible, which will hold their classes until they can pay.
Students who can afford their classes should just be prepared with the money ahead of registering time.
“We’ve carried so much student debt for not dropping students, we write off about $220,000 a year in bad debt, because students don’t pay their bill,” Ruys said.
Although, California community colleges offer the lowest tuition in the nation, COC admissions still doesn’t believe that tuition fees should keep going up.
The advice that Ruys gives to students is to contact the state legislator for their community college because they are the ones who make the decisions for tuition raises.
“I always Google ‘who is my legislature?’ and look for the state legislator,” says Ruys.
According to Ruys, the student’s voice is stronger than they realize and can have a great impact on tuition costs.