Students starting the school year at California Community Colleges this week will pay higher fees and have fewer courses from which to choose. At California State University campuses, students will find their classes packed, fewer library books available and the ranks of part-time faculty thinned.
That dismal picture could worsen if the state's financial problems force colleges and universities to make additional budget cuts mid-year, leaders of the systems said Monday during a conference call with reporters.
As it is, the state's 112 community colleges will offer 5% fewer classes this fall, Chancellor Jack Scott said. Based on projected annual demand, an estimated 670,000 students who otherwise would enroll in at least one class will not be served, he added.
Community college students, whose fees already have risen to $36 per unit for this school year from $26 last year, are likely to face a further increase if state revenue doesn't meet projections. State funding to the two-year colleges was reduced $400 million for this year. Further cuts would trigger an additional $10 per unit fee increase for spring 2012.