Photo: Nazareth College via Flickr
There’s a new way to get into that Memoir Writing class you’ve been wanting to take for three semesters now: pay more for it.Santa Monica College recently unveiled a new two-tier pay model to help curb budget concerns and ease the frustration of registering for classes, according to The New York Times. In-demand classes will simply cost more.
Right now, all classes cost $36 per credit hour. With the new system, the most popular courses will be $180 a credit hour.
This is the first plan of its type in the country, and if it succeeds other community colleges are likely to follow suit. The recession hit hard for Santa Monica, which has nearly 300,000 less students than average. The college also cut its winter session and about 1,000 class offerings to help with the budget.
sceptics are critical that this new plan will create an “upper” and “lower” class of students with in the college.
The Times‘ Jennifer Medina writes:
For generations, community colleges have been seen as a social equaliser, providing a relatively inexpensive education for poor students, immigrants and others without the skills, grades or money to attend a four-year institution.
So the two-tiered tuition structure being proposed here is raising eyebrows, and fundamental questions, about the role and obligations of community colleges. Will the policy essentially block some of the people it is designed to benefit? Many students believe the new policy — if the state does not block its implementation, which it could yet do — will unfairly exclude the poorest students and create a kind of upper and lower class of students.
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