International fees increased

Everyone has been hit hard with tuition fee increases but the international students are getting the real kicker.

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By Takahiro Kurosaki / Staff Writer

International- Rebecca Kim, office assistant in the International Students Center, aids new student Yixian Bao in searching for additional classes to add to his schedule on March 10. (Lauren Garcia / Photo Editor)

By Takahiro Kurosaki / Staff Writer

Everyone has been hit hard with tuition fee increases but the international students are getting the real kicker.

Riverside City College students will be shocked when they take a gander at the huge gap in tuition fee between local students and international students.

Currently, the international students pay up to eight times more per unit for classes as much as the local students do.

All RCC students are required to pay $26 per unit as an enrollment fee.

However, international students have to pay additionally $181 per unit for nonresident tuition and $19 per unit as an out-of-country nonresident surcharge.

In order to maintain immigration status, international students must enroll and complete a full-time course load of a minimum of 12 units during the fall and spring semester.

This regulation requires the international students to pay at least $2,712 as the sum of all the required fees.

Local students may think that international students do not pay that much to take class at RCC but many have expressed different opinions when they saw the cost rate.

Most thought the cost international students pay was unfair.

“I feel sorry for nonresident students because they have to pay such an expensive money,” Liz Dellaro, a RCC local student said, “Since education should be equal for everyone, I think it’s not fair.”

In contrast, Christian Barbosa, a RCC local student said, “I don’t know the exact rate and how it is decided, but it is understandable and looks fair when I take taxpayers into my consideration.”

For one thing, the difference in tuition between local and international students results from the characteristic of a public institute.

Although residents at a community college are required to pay taxes used for public services, international students are exempted from taxation.

At this point, international students seem to understand the reason for the fees..

“As far as it is a community college,” Koji Fukui, a RCC international student from Japan, said, “I think it is natural to serve for the people in the community and give them priority because they pay taxes necessary to run the college.”

Since international students do not pay taxes he accepts it. “Taking special procedures, instructions and care necessary for international students into my consideration enables me to accept the difference in tuition,” Fukui said.

Among some people, however, the high tuition brings about some concern.

The fear is that international students will be discouraged to continue their education because of the fees they have to pay.

If international students decide not to attend community college it would lead to the loss of their contribution to the school and their part in creating diversity and revenue at the college.

In spite of the high amount of tuition, however, many international students are still choosing to attend community colleges to continue their education.

This is mainly because the tuition is still an affordable amount for international students compared to the fees of a state university.

“Although I don’t agree with the current rising tuition, that of a community college is still cheaper than that of a state university,” Koji said. “The fact greatly affected my decision-making for my studying abroad.”

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