Two-tiered class fee structure outrages students at Santa Monica College

Apr 4, 2012

Funding is not just an issue for the UC system here in California – community colleges have also had deep cuts, forcing some administrations to consider radical new proposals.

Facing a reduction of $11 million, Santa Monica College decided its best option was to start a non-profit foundation that could offer more of the in-demand classes such as English and math – for a cost of $200 a unit. Students who don’t make it into the over-capacity state-funded classes, which cost $36 a unit, will be able to enroll in the more expensive classes, rather than wait as long as another year to fulfill their graduation requirements.

The “two-tiered” system, set to start this summer, has been met by protest, including the concern that the decision privatizes what is supposed to be a publicly-funded education and thus allows wealthier students to get ahead more quickly. Around 100 students showed up to protest the decision at the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, where campus police used pepper spray to break up the crowd


Should those that can afford to pay more be asked to? Would the program result in more space within the government-funded courses? Is the college administration overlooking a less contentious solution?

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