Fall 1962 I started my freshman year
at East Los Angeles College. A community college under the oversite of the Los Angeles Unified School District. At that time the total enrollment of students for both day and night classes at ELAC were about 10K.After filling out the required forms and papers then selecting my desired classes, totaling 15-credithours, I handed the person in the school’s bursars office a total of ten-dollars. Yes, the entire semester of five classes cost me only $10. Just ten bucks. Handed the lady two five-dollar bills. Caching the register rang paid in full.
At that time an all-new administrative building was finished along with the expanse of a center plaza. The campus was most welcoming and collegial. Every amenity one would expect of a metropolitan college setting was close at hand. Student center, canteen, auditorium, etc.
Had I enrolled at one of the California State colleges the total cost would have been $200 per semester. Two hundred dollars for a full load of classes. Still not a bad deal.
Then came governor elect Ronald Reagan. Reagan ended the affordability of the state’s community and state colleges and universities. Creating a significant increase and shifting the cost of education from the state to the student. Was this suppose to be a positive for Californians? It didn’t appear to be so.
And now America is talking about free colleges or community colleges. Wondering how to pay for this. Well, we’ve did it before. We could certainly do it again.