Illusrated by David Martinez/The Skyline View
The California Community College board is in talks amongst themselves on a proposal that would make it harder for people to abuse or frivolously use the Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver.
In short, this proposal will require students to maintain a C-average for two semesters if they want to keep the benefits of the BOG. It would also make students take at least half of their courses for credit, showing that the students have some kind of academic goal.
Some people think that this is meant to single out those who have low grades or are just not doing well altogether. That is not the point of this proposition. In the long run, this will help colleges stay open. California is losing money with its low fees and extensive financial assistance through the BOG. This proposition will help all students and effectively weed out those who use BOG for trivial classes that are not pertinent to moving on to higher education
The way the Board is going about this is going to have a positive impact. If passed, the board is effectively weeding out the students that are just using the system by making the students maintain afair GPA. Anyone who is not at least semi-serious about taking classes would be cut out.
Soon enough the main problem won’t be “How will I get this money to pay for college?” It will be, “Where am I going to go to college?” If our state’s college system keeps running on an extremely low-cost fees system our state community colleges will run into much deeper financial woes than they already are in.
Let’s talk about why this problem needs to be addressed in the first place. This whole issue of restricting BOG all stems from how California has the most inexpensive community college fees in the country, which is about $1,104 per year for a full 12 units, according to CaliforniaColleges.edu. This is in contrast to, say, New York, which has fees around $4,200 per year with a full 15 units per semester, according to CNUY.edu.
This is coupled with the fact that California also gives the BOG, completely paying tuition for students who meet certain in-ned financial requirements. After all of this assistance, one should only ask, “How are these schools making money?”
The truth is, they aren’t. The original purpose for community colleges in California is to ““offer academic and vocational instruction at the lower division level,” a creed mandated by California’s 1960 plan for higher education. This was written in a time when California community colleges had the money to uphold these values. Now, our community colleges just do not have the financial means to uphold this kind of system, that kind of promise.
This will hopefully be an eye opener for any student who thinks they can just abuse the BOG to take random classes for fun, only to fail them or drop them. Don’t do it! You are wasting money and are sucking money away from the California community college system.
Sure, some students may need some time to figure out what they want to do with their lives, but if you do this, remember you are doing this while taking advantage of financial aid, meant to support those who normally couldn’t be able to dream of an education. Remember that you are slowly draining money from the school. Make that money count.