What's Wrong with Student Fees? Renewing the Commitment to No-Fee, Open-Access Community Colleges in California

Educational Policies Committee

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has maintained long-standing support for the no-fee, open-access concept of California's community colleges. This paper documents the history of the introduction of fees and the seemingly inevitable subsequent increases-all of which have been vigorously opposed by the Academic Senate. It makes the case that such fees have betrayed the educational vision of California's 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education-a vision that has served California well. The section on Fundamental Principles provides strong philosophical and practical reasons for the original no-fee concept and argues that it benefits all segments of California by promoting the well-being of the entire state: not just individual citizens, but small and large businesses and the state as a civic and economic institution all benefit immeasurably from community college education. Specific arguments and responses to oppose many of the commonly heard myths and misconceptions in favor of fee increases are included. The paper calls on the Academic Senate to fight for the preservation of California's visionary educational legacy and, more specifically, to press for the roll-back of existing mandatory fees, coupled with enhanced opposition to any further increases. Appendices provide a record of the Academic Senate's resolutions regarding fees and a table that correlates fee increases with the corresponding effect on enrollment.

Publication file