The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

    Students Have Plenty To Say About $26-Per-Unit Fee

    Board of Governors Fee Waivers Help Many

    Sacramento City College students faced a $26-per-unit fee this semester, up
    from $20 per unit in the spring.

    The increase comes as state funding is being cut for community colleges.

    Here is what students had to say:

    Rebekah Sexton
    Rebekah Sexton

    If Sacramento City College student Rebekah Sexton, 29, didn’t have her federal Pell Grant and California’s Board of Governors fee waiver, high college costs would ruin plans for the psychology major from Garden Valley.

    “With nine units I would be paying over $200, just for classes,” Sexton said. “That would make a difference, and a lot of people can’t afford it.”

    Sexton is a new mother easing into full-time status with online classes to finish up her associate degree.

    With any delays, she added, come missed opportunities and a job market that may not wait.

    “I would have to take less classes,” Sexton worried. “I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel —- so many people need degrees to get jobs.”

    – Express staff writer Charlene Jones

    City College music major Dominic Garcia said the balancing act required to make ends meet as a single parent requires more than the two servings of energy drinks that are now part of his daily routine.

    “It is hard to stay on top of it all,” the 36-year-old musician said.

    “Right now I am paying for school with loans and grants, so I am not feeling the effects of it yet, but I will be when I have to pay them back,” Garcia said. “I don’t think I will be financially free even after graduating.”

    Garcia is no stranger to tuition hikes and the effects of college budget cuts. He is a displaced California State University, Sacramento student because of filing late for student aid.

    “Even though I am not paying for it out of pocket right now, I get more into debt,” said Garcia, as he calculates the cost for 12 units at $413 —- not including books or additional student fees.

    “Who can afford that? I sure the hell can’t.”

    — Express staff writer Eydie Mendoza

    Jennifer Saechao
    Jennifer Saechao

    Sacramento City College student Jennifer Saechao finds relief from a government-issued fee waiver during a time when most are struggling due to the $6-per-unit increase.

    “The unit increase didn’t affect me because I had the (Board of Governors) fee waiver,” Saechao said, “But I still had to buy all of my books, which sucked big time.”

    Although Saechao was not directly affected by the unit increase, she fears that in years to come the Waivers will deplete and she will be left scraping for cash just like the rest of her fellow students here on campus.

    “I don’t know how the others do it because my family could barely afford the books, let alone my tuition” she said.
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    Saechao describes how thankful she and her family were when they found out they qualified for this government help. This waiver is saving many students a great deal of money, which, in the end, is keeping them in school.

    – Express staff writer Lauren Reuthinger

    City College student Joyce Ransom, 52, isn’t bothered by the new $26-per-unit fee, but sympathizes with other students.

    “Well, I can understand the cost of living going up,” she said.

    Ransom is a cosmetology student who is working in the Learning Resource Center Library for a third year.

    “Fortunately I don’t have to pay for it,” she added. “I qualify for the (Board of Governors) waiver.”

    – Express staff writer Rob Small

    Israel Lopez
    Israel Lopez

    While many students are scrambling to get money to cover the $6-per-unit fee increase, Israel Lopez, 19, isn’t worried about it.

    “I’m on (Board of Governors) fee waivers, so it doesn’t entirely apply to me,” Lopez said.

    The second-year art major, who also freelances as a 3-D animator, realizes that something has to give.

    “The reason is clear for the increases — it’s the economic downturn.”

    – Express sports editor Terri M. Venesio

    With community college fees increasing by $6 per unit this semester, students are making their voices heard about its effect —- or non-effect —- on their pocket books.

    With the fee increase being relatively small, especially when compared with much higher college fees in other states, some students don’t even notice the difference.

    “It doesn’t affect me at all,” said 19-year-old City College football player Andrew Watkins, who said his fees are all paid for through football scholarships and financial aid.

    – Express news editor Luke Otterstad

    Though the recent $6-per-unit fee hike in the Los Rios Community College District has many students up in arms, others aren’t so troubled by it.

    “It’s better than going to a university out of state,” said Charles Gipson, 20. “It’s cheaper here.”

    Gipson, who has experienced the difference in fees at a university, said the community college prices are helpful in today’s economy.

    “It hasn’t affected me, it helps keep more money in your pocket during these hard times.”

    – Express staff writer Yana Kulinich

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