Opinion: BOG waiver changes are a good thing


The California Community Colleges Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver has made changes that requires students to maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA and complete at least 50 percent of their coursework. This will drive students to take their work seriously. (Illustration by Sharriyona Platt)

Sharriyona Platt

With the California Community Colleges Board of Governors (BOG) fee waiver, students may enroll in college courses without being ready to put forth the effort to achieve great grades or maintain a good GPA, with a sense of entitlement of access to higher education.

The BOG fee waiver’s primary goal is to maintain access for underrepresented and low-income students, but in its current state, it provides funding to students regardless of academic standing.

Student aid should not be directed only toward access, but also success.

The new changes require students to maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher and to complete at least 50 percent of their coursework.

Some students may see this as a hindrance to receiving an education, but it will actually benefit their academic betterment.

Look at the bigger picture, these standards are being put in place to improve educational achievement in California community colleges and strengthen the community college system, overall benefitting the students enrolled in classes.

Students put on academic probation for not meeting school GPA requirements cannot receive financial aid the next semester, so why should their next semester classes be paid for by the state?

According to the Jan. 19 Chancellor’s Office comparison of state aid programs, there is no limit for the California BOG waiver and it is the only program that doesn’t require students to take classes toward a degree or major.

It’s great that students are offered this form of aid, but California shouldn’t be so lenient on its students.

The Chancellor’s Office comparison report showed that the BOG waiver is more accessible to needy students than any other program’s aid, but its relationship to student success is unknown.

A tuition-free education is necessary for some community college students, but not at the cost of their academic success.

This student success initiative is an attempt at balancing an affordable education and student success with a sustainable education system.

The new requirements will force students to actually attend class, follow instructions, do their work and receive passing grades.

In other words, if a student doesn’t take their classes seriously, their education will have to be paid for out of our pocket regardless of financial situation.

These changes should assure students receiving the BOG waiver that the California education system cares about their success.

The bottom line is, community college is a bridge of access to higher education and prepares students for success at a four-year university. A  2.0 GPA isn’t hard to maintain and neither is doing half of your course work.

There are so many services offered to students to help in meeting their educational goals, you just have to want it for yourself.

Desire success for yourself and keep your grades up if you want to go to school. Don’t expect your fees to be waived if you’re not willing to put forth the effort to pass.

After all, awarding you with waived fees if you’re not succeeding will only hurt you in the long run.