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Grad Students Need Not Apply to Area Colleges

August 22, 1993

* I just finished reading Bill Billiter's column about higher college fees ("College Costs Have Gone Up by Degrees," Aug. 16), and I felt compelled to share my experience at Orange Coast College with you. I received a bachelor's degree in 1978. In 1992 I decided that it was time to return to school for the training necessary to earn a certificate for a long-awaited job in the health-care industry.

I attempted to enroll in an anatomy/physiology class at Orange Coast College for the fall semester of 1992. The class is a prerequisite for the radiologic technology program. The class was closed. For the spring semester of 1993, I attempted again to enroll, this time as a "returning student." Again the class was closed. By the end of the spring semester, I had fulfilled all of the college's matriculation requirements, applied to the certificate program of my choice, and completed that program's testing and prerequisites, except for the anatomy/physiology class.

Once again, this fall semester, I have been edged out of the class due to my low-priority registration status. I have called the registrar's office, the counseling office, the Allied Health office, the dean of math and science and have written to the instructor of the course twice in an effort to obtain some assistance with this problem. It seems that everyone agrees that it is unfair that students with degrees who are returning to school for retraining are subject to low-priority registration, which makes enrolling in required courses virtually impossible. And furthermore, everyone seems to agree that it is unfair to subject students with degrees to low-priority registration restrictions as well as increased fees ($50 a credit versus $13 a credit). However, no one could or would do anything to help me or any other students I spoke with in this situation. I even attempted to enroll in the class at two other community colleges. I was not successful. Their courses filled up with returning and higher-priority students before I was allowed to register as a new student.

At Orange Coast College, it takes two years to get into the radiologic technology program. Someone should be telling students with degrees not to bother applying, because the prerequisites are not available to us, even at five times the price.


Mission Viejo

* It's not only at community colleges that students who already possess a degree must pay $50 a unit per class. At the university level as well, at least at Cal State Fullerton, students like myself who already possess a master's-level degree and are pursuing an additional master's-level degree are required to pay a duplicate degree tuition of $150 per unit over and above basic fees. The same goes for students who are pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

It's quite a shock to have tuition raised over $1,000 in less than three months--with no warning. Altogether I'll pay close to $1,600, a big difference compared to the $500 I paid last semester. According to Jerry Keating, director of public affairs for CSUF: "The worst budget predictions didn't actually materialize. . . ."(Aug. 16). I just think it's important that the public understand all the reasons why.



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