By Jasmine Conyer
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The recent tuition increase may have some recurring and first-time students scraping change to make it through their two years.
“I feel it is too expensive to be a community college. My financial aid covers the minimum books, not the extras teachers require,” stated second-year student Jazmine Scott, who came from West Virginia University. With all the reconstruction that has been happening around campus, many students have started to wonder where their money is really going.
Each semester class prices tend to change, some saying they’re expensive and some saying they’re reasonably priced, due to course and instruction fees. “I take four classes, the requirements, but last semester I had to pay out of pocket for the extras,” Scott stated.
Like Scott, recurring student Brandon Jones has experienced having to pay out of pocket and receiving little financial aid, stating, “I don’t think it’s fair that I have to pay for something called a facilities fee and on top of the lab and general service fee for this semester and my curriculum is changing. What are we really getting out of this, a bigger building and better teachers, I don’t think so.”
With different assistance for filing for financial aid, scholarship boards and deferring payments per semester, Camden County students do have a way of getting a hold of some cash for college, but how much will prices have to go up before students say that is enough?
Compared to last semester, more students seem to be making payments mid-semester and registering for classes later and later each semester. The price for in-county students increased about $100 to $200 this semester, not counting what out-of-county and international students have to pay.
After numerous attempts to contact the financial aid director for information about the tuition increase, only Jacqueline Tenuto, assistant to the dean of students, responded. In an email, she said, “I don’t believe there is a tuition raise but you would have to contact financial aid for more information regarding that issue.”
Not putting all the blame on Camden County College, the state government plays an important role in the increase of tuition because of cutbacks in educational funds. In an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer in July 2011, Rita Giordano wrote that Camden County College raised its tuition somewhat before the state budget was set.
Students like Torrian Holt are not affected by the raise in tuition. About paying out of pocket, Holt stated, “I don’t care how much I have to pay. Your education is what you make it. Even if I have the finest teachers hired, it’s only so much information they’re going to pass off.”