A lower higher-education bubble

Santa Monica College, a two-year school in the California Community Colleges system, came up with a way to continue to meet student demand while dealing with budget cuts: offer high-demand core classes at a higher tuition rate. A typical three-credit-hour course might run $150; under the SMC plan, the courses most in demand would be repriced to $600. This went over about as well as you think it would:

The Board of Trustees at Santa Monica College voted Friday to postpone a two-tiered fee increase that led to angry campus protests where students were pepper-sprayed… The trustees had approved the two-tier fee scale last month.

Students called for a referendum on the measure, and California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott asked [President Chui] Tsang to put the plan on hold, expressing concerns about its legality. The school has said its lawyers have concluded the plan is legal.

The California Assembly had considered, but did not pass, a bill to make such plans legal.

(Via Joanne Jacobs at Community College Spotlight.)

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