Would you pay more money to get into a class you really need to take?
At community colleges in California, you may have to. And it may be part of a trend in higher education.
California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation creating a pilot program that would allow some community colleges to charge non-resident tuition for classes that are in demand and hard to get into. The courses would be held in summer and winter terms.
The program, which will run through 2018, could raise the price for these courses up to $200 per unit. Courses offered in the program would include algebra, history and English, which are often needed by students to graduate or transfer.
College of the Canyons, Crafton Hills College, Long Beach City College, Oxnard College, Pasadena City College and Solano Community College are the schools participating in the program.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, this move was opposed by some students and faculty, as well as California community colleges chancellor Brice Harris[i].
Santa Monica College attempted to set up a two-tier tuition plan in 2012, with in-demand courses being offered in the summer at a higher rate. The plan was shelved indefinitely after student protests[ii]. In June, Michigan State University approved a two-tier tuition increase that has upperclassmen paying more than freshman and sophomores[iii].
Are tuition costs making you look into financial aid? Click here for what you need to know.