“Super Seniors” is a name used for college students who already have enough units to graduate, but are still in school. There are about 9,000 of them currently enrolled in California State Universities. CSU officials have come up with a plan to encourage them to graduate faster, make them pay more.
“They are fees designed to deal with the fact that we have an increasingly large number of students that want to get classes. We've been faced with the difficulty to trying to face all of those needs,” said Fresno State President John Welty.
Next week, officials will vote on three new fees. The first fee would require students to pay an additional $372 per unit, if they have more than 160 units. The second would make students who repeat a course pay an extra $91 a unit. And the third fee would require students to pay an extra $182 a unit for a course load of more than 18 units. Officials say these fees will open up space for about 12,000 new students. The fees would also bring Cal State's 23 campuses about $30 million a year in revenue.
“I think it's important to recognize, this is not a money issue. This is an issue of trying to provide fairness and access for students with few classes to assure that everybody's got a shot to get the courses if they need it,” said Welty.
Students say the fees are unfair to those who have switched majors or are struggling financially.
Fresno State student Michele Ramos said, “We're all trying to learn here and obviously we don't have enough money people work double jobs and we're trying to do the best that we can.”
Fresno State student Vanessa Garcia added, “It's definitely unfair. Not everyone can just pull out money out of their pocket, we're all here for the same reason, we all want to advance and we want to make this place a better place. They're making it impossible for us to get ahead.”
CSU officials say they are open to reviewing individual cases and would grant waivers if necessary. If trustees approve the proposed fees, they would take into effect next fall.