by Julie Eklund
A student graduates from high school, enrolls in college and begins in the fall. At the University of La Verne they will pay $440 for each semester hour. The “poor, starving college student” scenario may take place as the student struggles with tuition bills and thinks about impending loan payments.
Another student graduates from high school, chooses not to go to college, possibly joins the work force and gets a steady income, buys a house, then decides 10 or 20 years down the line to pick up a bachelor’s degree through the Continuing Accelerated Program for Adults (CAPA) at ULV. They pay $290 for each semester hour, $150 per unit less than those who enroll directly after graduation from high school.
According to Adeline Cardenas-Clague, dean of enrollment services, “There are different student programs, and because of different student needs, you can’t apply the same prices across the board.”
So what are traditional undergraduate students getting for that extra $150?
Cardenas-Clague said that cost takes into account “academic and departmental support [academic advisers], leadership opportunities, participation in events sponsored by the student body, services offered by the Health Center, and ULV grants.”
She also pointed out that “The average CAPA student is older, working and has a family. They take the majority of their classes in the evenings and on weekends, and they’re taught predominantly by part-time faculty, who are paid on a different scale.”
However, CAPA students do receive individual academic advisers and often also take daytime classes. Pricing is also based on market competition.
Junior Dan Ferguson, a traditional undergraduate, feels that the discount tuition for CAPA students is reasonable.
“If you don’t have all the facts, you’d think we were getting gypped, but I can see them charging [CAPA students] less for services they don’t get,” he said.
CAPA student Candis Fields has a different opinion.
“Traditional undergraduates should be afforded the same opportunities as CAPA students. Either take the student benefits and pay a higher cost, or pay a lower fee without the benefits. It should be their choice,” she said.
To many traditional undergraduates who do not receive ULV grants and do not take advantage of health services and leadership possibilities, this idea seems fair.
“I’m not sure exactly how a policy like that would be administered. It would be extremely difficult. That would have to be looked at by the University Administration,” said Steve Grey, chief financial officer for the University.