Officials at a community college in California recently announced that they will offer two tiers of course pricing to help more students earn their qualifications, reports the Bellingham Herald.
Santa Monica College proposed that high-demand classes such as English and math be provided to students from low-income families at a cost of $46 per unit. A nonprofit foundation will be established to provide students from more privileged backgrounds with the same classes, but at a higher price.
Students will be able to use financial aid to pay for classes, although officials at the community college confirmed that they are seeking private funding to create scholarships for students in need.
"It shows some attempt to be innovative," Dan Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, told the newspaper. "At a four-year school it might turn some heads, but it makes sense at a community college level, where the tuition is low and the capacity issue is especially acute."
According to The Los Angeles Times, community college units are currently priced at $36 each, and many two-year schools have had to raise their prices by $10 to counteract necessary budget cuts across the state.
If you're filling out college applications for a community college, make sure to check if classes are available at the lowest possible rates to keep your costs down.