In a unanimous vote, PCC’s Board of Trustees approved an update in tuition fees for non-resident students in the upcoming academic year, according to their meeting in February.
Non-resident students include international students and out of state students. Students that have lived inside the state of California under a year are also typically considered non-resident students.
The increases come from the non-resident tuition fee, which will change from $265 to $290, and the capital outlay fees, which will change from $13 to $17. Combined, the cost will be $307 per semester for non-resident students to attend PCC, a $29 difference from the last year’s rate.
This fee increase is not a new development. In fact, raising these fees is a standard thing that every community college has to do every single year, according to Olivia Loo, the Director of the PCC International Student Center. Loo expects that approximately 800 international students and an unknown number of out of state students are to be affected by the change.
“PCC will work together with community colleges in the area to try and stay at about the same rate, which just went up, for the non-resident tuition fee and the capital outlay,” Loo said.
Community colleges determine the price of these fees each year based on specific calculations from the Chancellor’s Office, known as the California Standard Fee.
This year PCC has opted to use that baseline recommendation. While most community colleges defer to this fee, some choose to use other guidelines on top of the standard fee to charge non-resident students more to attend.
“When we do a poll of all the community colleges, about 80 to 90 percent go with the state rate,” said Chedva Weingart, the Executive Director of Fiscal Services.
The Fiscal Services department surveys local community colleges each year to see what the average rate is, so the board can make comparisons to decide whether or not to go with the Chancellor’s Office recommendation.
“We want to do the best we can to make sure we’re still competitive,” said Alex Boekelheide, special assistant to the superintendent/president
If students are struggling to pay these fees, there are grants, such as FAFSA, that can help cover the cost of tuition. Students may also be awarded scholarships from the PCC Foundation, which gave almost $2 million to students in the 2018-2019 academic year.
“Our foundation is amazing. It’s been really helpful,” Weingart said.
The PCC Foundation is located on the second floor of the Child Development Center, at the corner of Green Street and Holliston Avenue.