Santa Barbara City College will raise tuition fees for out-of-state and international students to $225 per unit this fall. The increase is well above the state average.
The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the $14 increase at its Thursday meeting.
A full-time student takes at least 12 units per semester, so students are looking at an extra $336 per year.
It’s a “substantial increase,” SBCC President Lori Gaskin acknowledged. The trustees vote on nonresident tuition fees every year, while California resident fees — currently $46 per unit — are set by the Legislature.
SBCC wants nonresident fees to be on par with other community colleges with large international populations, Gaskin said. While she said the current fee of $211 per unit was too low to cover expenses, the increase will go toward hiring more counselors and faculty in math and English, although not necessarily to serve international students.
The campus is in high demand for international students and the extra money shouldn’t have an impact on students wanting to come to Santa Barbara, Gaskin said.
As of Jan. 23, SBCC has 17,216 students enrolled — 2,378 of them non-California residents. Of those, 1,462 are from other countries. The spring semester starts Monday, so the numbers are likely to change a little over the next few weeks.
Nonresident students pay the higher tuition in addition to the enrollment fee of $46 per unit, so their total tuition cost for next year will be $271 per unit.
Instead of basing the fee on the state average of $193 per unit, SBCC used the Ventura County Community College District as a guide. The three campuses in Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura have nonresident fees of $250 per unit.
There haven’t been signs of fee increases for California residents at community colleges, and the current rate has been in effect since mid-2012.
The University of California System had huge increases over the past five years, but UC President Janet Napolitano has asked for a tuition freeze going into the 2014-2015 school year, which would apply to UC Santa Barbara.
This would be the third year of level UC undergraduate fees, after they shot up $5,664 between 2008 and 2012.