OPINION: Academic failure now comes at higher cost

Students who have fallen below a  2.0 GPA for two consecutive semesters or have not completed at least 50 percent of course work will lose their California Board of Governor’s fee waiver.

California tax payers will not pay for shortcomings any longer. The changes in funding regulations, which were introduced earlier this year, will take effect in the upcoming 2016 fall semester. Academic performance and progress standards are an obligation that must be taken seriously.

Essentially, this means the course units students haven’t paid a dime for will now cost $46 per unit, bringing a 15-unit load from $30 in student fees to around an out-of-pocket cost of $725.

According to the National Center for Educations Statistics, in 2014, 64 percent of Citrus students received some form of financial aid, including the California BOG waiver.

If you have benefited from the fee waiver and fear you are on track to lose it, do something about it. There is still time to keep your money in your pocket, but it will require leaving your comfort zone and getting help.

With finals week on the horizon, you can use a variety of services to help significantly lift your grades above a 2.0 GPA.

There are a multitude of support services that Citrus students have access to. In addition to being easily accessible, they are free of cost and available to all students, whether you are an on-campus or distance education student.

The tutoring center, located in ED 215,  is run by students who have gone through College Reading and Learning Association certification training and received a minimum of a B letter grade in their respective course.

The Writing Café, also in ED 215, offers students help with writing assignments for any course. It also offers strategies for note taking, reading comprehension and writing.

Supplemental Instruction is integrated into STEM courses support students with traditionally difficult subjects.

An SI tutor takes the class alongside students, and then conducts specific meetings to review class lectures and work on specific course concepts for clarity.

According to SI research, students that attend tutoring sessions receive, on average, one half to one full letter grade higher than students who do not to attend.

For distance education students, a detailed schedule for English, writing, math and biology courses is offered online. After receiving a failing grade in a math exam or a research paper, recovery seems long and difficult. But don’t throw in the towel and run away from your problems by taking a W or no-showing in classes, hoping for a fresh start next semester.

The on-campus and online resources available are designed to be used: They are there to be taken advantage of.

Don’t think for a second your professors don’t want you to succeed or they have it out for you to fail. Typically, professors throw in extra credit toward your grade for attending tutoring.

Every administrator, faculty member and support service staff member is all-in to assure Citrus is a college of completion.

If you receive the school-issued email stating you lost your BOG waiver eligibility, which is sent 30 days after the end of the semester, it does not mean it is gone forever. You can regain eligibility by meeting the academic and progress standards. When your GPA improves, you can re-apply for the waiver.

Rather than trying to earn back this benefit, work hard now to keep it while you have it.



Stephen is a communications major who will transfer to Cal Poly Pomona in fall 2017. This is Stephen's third semester as part of the Clarion staff. Though he is a former Opinions Editor, Stephen enjoys covering Owls teams sports and and covering news around Citrus College.

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