August 27, 1999
By Ken Pagano
Southwestern College students are relieved that fees have been reduced from twelve dollars per credit unit to eleven dollars a unit, beginning this fall semester for all California residents.
"The bottom line is that college is cheaper," said Israel Alarid, a continuing student at SWC. Alarid, who received educational assistance through the Puente Project, is an electrical engineering major with a transfer plan to UCLA.
"A lot of people think that JC's are cheaper... cheaper than a university, yes, but education is still expensive when books and materials, gas, food and all the other things are factored in," he said. "It's a savings however you look at it."
"Every little bit helps" shouted another all too eager student while waiting in line at the Admissions Office. The final hours of summer vacation seemed to evaporate as this student and many others made last minute class corrections, and paid lower enrollment, reminded of the realities of college life.
Fall semester classes would begin the next day.
Ryan Cleveland, a recent Bonita Vista High School graduate is beginning college at Southwestern, just a street-light away from his former four-year memory-filled hallways.
Another student going through the admissions routine is Marlies Vandenberg, who is also a SWC nursing instructor. Keeping up with new technology and methodologies gives her a constant goal. "Education is a lifelong process," she said. To meet the increasing standards that straddle education with technology in classroom settings, Vandenberg has enrolled in a computer software class, because "sometimes students know more about computers than instructions." At least now she says, the conversation will include her rather than leave her in the exhaust of the information superhighway. And for students, information is far from inexpensive.
"[The drop in tuition price] is good," says Elvia Escobar, an international student from Mexico who has already completed a licensing degree in psychology. She is taking ESL courses at SWC in hopes of obtaining a second license in psychology to practice in the United States. "Ultimately those students who study because they want to study will pay for their education anyway.
Out-of-state students pay extra fees in addition to the $11 per unit enrollment fee charged California residents.
Short session classes will begin in October. For more information and a class schedule call (619) 482-6304.