Protesters wait outside of a Santa Monica College budget meeting, saying they support tuition increases as long as it "keeps the doors open." The city college recently voted to cut its winter session classes in an effort to save cash.
Thousands of Santa Monica College students expecting to take classes in the winter session won’t have that option this year. College administrators voted Thursday night to eliminate the 6-week session in order to save $2.5 million.
It was either cut the winter session or make even more cuts to the Fall and Spring semesters, said Santa Monica College spokesman Bruce Smith.
The decision will lengthen graduation time for some students, he said.
"Obviously we don’t like that, but we feel we have no choice given the fiscal situation in the state," he said.
A large population of out-of-state and foreign students have helped keep the Santa Monica campus budget afloat. Santa Monica College is popular with students from Korea, China and Sweden. These students pay six times as much per class than in-state residents, adding up to about $25 million a year for the college.
State legislators, Smith said, have cut the campus budget by 12 percent in the past four years, leading to a cut of more than 1,000 classes.
Last Wednesday, Pasadena City College also eliminated its winter session amid student and faculty protests.
Are the session cuts at PCC or Santa Monica College affecting you or anyone you know? How are you compensating?