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Enrollment relief coming soon

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By David Morris

By David Morris

Enrollment fees for California Community Colleges statewide will be decreasing from $26 a unit to $20 starting Jan 1.

The bill, which will take effect on Jan 1, was collaboration among Democrats and Republicans.

The governor allocated $19.1 billion towards higher education according to a June 30 press release.

Here at RCC, both of those lines affect students in a positive way. The student fee directly affects the students, while equalization allows more money to be placed in the base funding that is allotted to RCC.

Equalization is bridging the gap between districts that received more base funding then other districts. It will not bring down the base funding of the other high end districts but rather put more money into the lower funded districts.

“My budget will pump $130 million of equalization funds into the community college system to even out the amount of spending for each student and wipe out inequities between rich and poor districts,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger in a press release.

The Republicans had wanted to pass the Equalization bill among community colleges, and the Democrats wanted to reduce the student fees.

“For the last three years, including this one, RCC base funding increased by over $12 million, and that funding is repeated each year,” said Lyn Greene, associate dean of governmental relations. Greene said that the amount that will be collected by the new equalization line is unknown, but Chancellor Rotella said that equalization is dedicated towards the new hiring of faculty.

According to Vice Chancellor of Student Services Linda Lacy RCCD does not collect the enrollment fee from students. It goes to the state government. The drop in the enrollment fee will not affect RCCD base funding.

Students were surprised by this turn of events; they firmly believed that it would go up again.

Cindy Pol, a fifth year student at RCC bore witness to the changes from $13 to $18 and then to the current $26.

“It made it hard to pay for everything,” she said.

The rate change won’t have any effect on the status of out-of-state and international students.

According to Lacy RCC is planning on advertising through various media outlets including radio, newspaper and movie theaters.

The job market directly affects enrollment at community colleges. When there is high demand for workers, and jobs are readily available, students are not as likely to attend college and vice versa, Lacy stated. However, the economy is now in a strong enough position to allow the state to enact measures which promote returning to school.

RCCD has not grown in the past year.

According to Lacy, RCCD is normally a high growth district.

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