EDITORIAL: Summer school is too expensive

Opinion staff

Set the term to summer 2011, search for classes, find a class, add the class, hit the checkout button. Now that signing up is done, how much is the outstanding balance? Oh, only $1,123. Wait, what?

More than $1,100 for a three-unit class? What is this madness? For a thousand dollars more, you could go up to 18 or 21 units, depending on if you are a graduating senior. Sure, there is a huge budget deficit for the state and higher education is being hit hard, but this is sheer insanity.

Erik Puleo-Coates, senior journalism major, thinks the university is charging too much for summer session.

“I’m taking Music 129 for $255 per unit plus nearly $400 in student fees for a Writing Intensive course,” he said. “It’s just nuts.”

Barb Jacobson, senior history and liberal studies double-major, believes that students’ memories make it not worth the price.

“What you learn isn’t worth what you pay,” Jacobson said, “and you forget what you learn during the summer.”

Considering the fun you will be having outside of class, is this really a surprise? Remember the summer class you took at a community college last summer? Didn’t think so.

Ellie Mirmazaheri, senior broadcast journalism major, feels the same way as Jacobson and Puleo-Coates.

“Summer school is very expensive for what you are getting,” Mirmazaheri said. “These are six-week sessions, not full semesters.”

It should be noted, though, that the classes last the same amount of hours as during spring and fall semesters.

Mirmazaheri, like Puleo-Coates, is against the student fees.

“I don’t think we should have to pay student union fees during summer,” she said. “School is not in full session and the student union isn’t fully working either, so why pay so much for that?”

That’s not entirely the case, said Jenny Nevarez of the University Union’s info desk.

“Pretty much all but Terminal Lounge and gallery are open,” Nevarez said. “The gallery will be open for student orientation, it will act as a OneCard office. Other than that, there will be different hours, and it’s tentative whether the police station will be open.”

Regardless, Mirmazeheri has a good point. Students are being billed for using the Union when, in all likelihood, they will barely use the services provided. During the summer, does anyone really want to stay on campus more than they need to? Go to class, go home, enjoy the nice weather.

Not only are students paying for the Union, they are also paying for parking. Mirmazaheri pointed out that a parking pass is more thsn $150, while paying the $6 for a daily parking pass for six weeks, for a class that is twice a week, only comes out to $72.

How are students going to pay for all this? Financial aid, for many of them. But wait, financial aid only kicks in if you are taking six credits or more. And that means spending more than $2,000 for two classes, even closer to fall tuition.

So, whether you are taking a summer class or graduating, you will or have paid for things you may not use more than once or twice. For summer classes, it seems like students are the victims of little more than price gouging.

Time to go and drop the summer class that can be replaced with two classes in the fall.

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