Students concerned over fee hikes

By Sergio Berrueta

Education is one of the many beneficial elements students strive for in life, but when the cost of education gets high, students may not know how to cope.

Enrollment fees in California community colleges will go from the traditional $36 per unit to $46 per unit starting this summer session. For many others, this may not seem like a tremendous increase in price, but to the students of East Los Angeles College and other community colleges, it does raise a heavy concern.

There are many students, such as myself, who struggle to make ends meet. I have been tortured by the high cost of education, focusing instead on the safer route of going to a community college rather than waste a hefty amount of money to try to attend a traditional college or university. Community college is always affordable and a nice way to start out a college career, but at $46 per unit, it seems very unlikely.

When I first heard about the possibility of the fees being raised, I was attending another community college. A majority of us are still struggling from our own personal woes, ranging from not being able to make it in today’s job market to not making the next payment on our personal belongings.

A fee hike can take a toll on our wallets.  Even with the financial aid we are given, expenses like textbooks, materials and transportation still add up. Students can see the amounts stacking before their very eyes as the units come piling in. A whopping $552 will go towards twelve units. That can be quite the fearful sight to a student, and a heavy load on their wallet.

There are people who are all for the rise in enrollment fees and I do understand why they would say that with the recent debt crisis in education in California. The fees may seem to cushion the blow of the current state of affairs, but making it seem as though it came out of nowhere, despite warnings, can be disheartening to newcomers.

The newcomers will probably be more concerned with how much the units all together will be, wondering if they will still have enough money to pay for the rest of the materials and books they need to be successful. Some students may be concerned if they will even have a shred of money left to spend on other personal items.

Students are fearing for the worst, as I am. We should stay optimistic, strong and continue on educating ourselves, despite the incoming rise of fees. There may not be anything we can do about it now, but time will tell,  if this was, in fact, the right decision for the community colleges of California.

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