Student Voices {Support Public Higher Education}

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Elizabeth's Voice


How have increased tuition fees impacted you and your family?:
I have been in college for eight years. EIGHT YEARS. Think about that for a moment. Kids born the year I entered college are halfway to having their drivers' licenses. Some of that eight years was spent fooling around in community college figuring out what I wanted to do; some of it was spent dealing with health and personal issues that took me away from my education for about 1.5 years. And one day, I wake up and I'm 26, and I have no idea how much longer it will take for me to get my bachelor's degree. I'm getting married next year, and if I can't get the classes I need, we'll have to cut the honeymoon short so that I can try to crash courses on the first day of the semester... if I can even afford another semester. I'm lucky enough to have parents who put aside a good chunk of money for me to use towards my education, but that fund is drying up rapidly due to tuition increases. And at the same time fees are going up, the number of available classes is going down. I have seen students resort to bribery to get classes - one senior offered $100 to anyone willing to give up their seat in a required GE course - and I have seen kind-hearted professors overfill classrooms because they can't stand to turn away students in need. Even transferring in as a senior, there was a seemingly endless list of requirements I had yet to fulfill, and it is a gamble every time registration rolls around as to whether or not I can get a seat. Priority registration is just that - prioritizing. You have to decide which classes are absolutely essential to get in to, and put those at the top of your list; you have to guess which classes will fill up the slowest, and put those at the bottom. If your gamble doesn't pay off, you can find yourself not enrolled in a single class at the start of the semester. And then you have to endure the agony of crashing, showing up day after day until the add/drop deadline in the vain hope that someone will drop or the professor will take pity on you; cajoling your teachers and fellow classmates in an attempt to garner sympathy and win a spot; and if you're lucky, you will do a merry little jig down the hallway with add code in hand. If you're unlucky, you will skulk away in defeat, head hung low, knowing you will have to do it all again in a few months.


What are you studying at SF State and what do you hope to do once you graduate?:
I am a studio art major focusing in painting and drawing. After I (someday) graduate, I want to teach fine art to high school students and eventually teach painting and drawing at the community college which was so helpful to me when I was there.


Elizabeth C., 26 San Francisco



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