Fee hikes this summer

Keith Montes, Managing editor

Come summer of 2012, the California Community College per unit fee will increase to the all time high of $46 per unit.
According to Article 9, Section 5 of the California State Constitution, “The Legislature shall provide for a system of common schools by which a free school shall be kept up and supported in each district…”

Since a free K-14 public education system is guaranteed for all California residents, community colleges districts are not allowed to charge tuition for their educational services. The money which is paid for community colleges is technically classified as a “fee” rather than as tuition.

Due to Proposition 13 passing in California in 1978, which limited the amount of funding made available to public schools from property taxation and the precipitating event of a recession, the first fee was imposed upon community college students in 1984.

Fees have been continually raised since then except between 1996 – 2003 when it decreased from $13 per unit to $11 per unit.

The most drastic increase in fees occurred in 2011 when the per unit fee increased to $36 per unit.
Summer semester of 2012 will mark a new era where students will shoulder the largest amount of per unit cost in the entire history of California Community Colleges.