Cost of one class at CSULB too expensive

Aggravation, confusion and a bit of panic are just a few of the emotions I felt when the payment due page appeared on my computer screen. I had just registered for my last class here at Cal State Long Beach and had no idea it would cost me $907 – and that’s not even including parking or book fees.

Perhaps I should explain what has led up to my three-unit class cost being so outrageous. I, like many students, will finally be walking this May. Before this fall semester began I had already met several times with academic counselors and had filed for graduation last spring. I figured I was already to take on the fall semester – all 18 units of it – and finally be a CSULB graduate.

Now, I had always been under the impression that graduating seniors had first priority when attempting to add a class, so I figured having to add just one class (required for my major) shouldn’t be that much of a problem. But let this be a warning to all – it is!

Now, back to expenses, we all have them. As college students, our expense reports include rent, cars, cell phones, food, bar tabs and books, but should tuition really be the burden that breaks the bank?

I already work five days a week and attend classes for more than eight hours during the other two days. I, like many students, financially support myself, so in a pinch, I accepted a loan last semester to help pay for tuition.

In previous years I had been awarded financial aid in the form of grants, which don’t need to be paid back. But this past semester I was offered only loans, loans that didn’t even cover tuition and books. More importantly, that loan was supposed to cover my last semester so I wouldn’t have to face any further financial crisis related to school. With that money spent, I’ve been left with working extra hours and few options to pay for the approaching semester. Even worse is the fact that if tuition isn’t paid within a month from registration, we’re dropped from our courses.

It just doesn’t make sense to be paying $907 for three units when I could be taking 15 units for $1,400. Graduating seniors or students who only need three or less units (one class) to graduate shouldn’t have to pay these ridiculous costs.

In actuality, many graduating seniors are discovering they are missing a class here or a unit there and it’s forcing them to go off-campus to local community colleges whose units are transferable to CSULB.

I worked really hard in order to graduate from a junior college in two years. Why should I have to go back? Honestly, I did everything in my power to graduate in a timely manner once accepted to Long Beach, and the idea of forcing students to go elsewhere to receive units needed for graduation due to tuition costs just doesn’t seem right.

I’ve earned and maintained my place at CSULB and have no intention of not paying the ridiculously high price to take my last class before graduation.

But honestly, I’m sure if I had the opportunity or if the class I need was offered at a junior college, I would enroll in a second.

Samantha Ascher is a senior journalism major.

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