State Budget Prompts COC Enrollment Fees To Spike
Community colleges across California forced to raise fees $6 per unit.
Enrollment fees at all of California's community colleges have been raised from $20 to $26 per unit for the fall, 2009 semester as a result of legislation related to the state budget that was signed by the Governor on Tuesday. College of the Canyons officials have been forced to collect the extra fees immediately.
"We are advising students that the new fees will apply for all new class registrations starting today," said Sue Bozman, Vice President of Communication, Marketing and External Relations.
The legislation forces community colleges to not only charge the higher rate moving forward, but also to collect the remainder from those who have already paid.
"We will also be notifying all of the students who have already registered for fall that they need to pay the $6 per unit difference," she said.
For the roughly 5,000 students who qualify for Board of Governors Fee Waivers (BOGW) at College of the Canyons, the fee increase will be fully covered and no further action on their part is required.
Registration for the fall semester began July 20 with thousands of students filling classes very quickly.
Raising the fee involves more than just collecting extra money. Whenever a fee change occurs at a community college, computers must be reprogrammed, information on how to pay the increased fees needs to be disseminated, catalogs and class schedules need to be changed, Web sites are revised, phone messages are updated and cooperation of the student body is required.
"When enrollment fees were last raised in 2004, there was an amazing amount of cooperation and understanding by everyone," said Bozman, "which made the process very smooth."
Community college enrollment fees are determined by the legislature. Fees collected by the colleges are forwarded to the state and become part of the general fund, so colleges see no direct benefit from the dollars they collect. In this complex budget year, the fee increases became necessary as part of the overall California budget strategy.
Students who have already registered for the fall semester are required to pay the $6 difference for each registered unit. Their computer accounts will be updated and they will be able to access their online accounts and pay the difference starting Thursday, July 30, 2009. Payment can be made by using a credit card or by mailing a check to the college at:
College of the Canyons
Student Business Office,
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
COC has asked that students pay the fees by September 4, 2009.