“I believe that the most acclaimed benefit of dual credit and early college access should be the benefit they provide for the students of these middle college schools– at which the main purpose of the creation and continuation of these schools, especially Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy, is to support students and provide them with ways to excel and succeed.
Middle colleges all over the nation have saved and continue to save both students and their families from the burden of overwhelming college tuitions. They allow students to participate in the college experience prior to graduating from high school; and they allow high school students to complete enough college credit to earn Associates Degrees.” — Grace Ji Hun Yeo, Senior @ HTPA
I. How much do credits cost at your Host College?
Attending Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy is an immense benefit for its students: it allows its students to take college classes without the hassle of transportation, since HTPA is located on the college campus of LAHC. It provides students with textbooks for their college classes, and it exempts AB540 and international students from paying full tuition at Los Angeles Harbor College. HTPA also allows students to receive dual credit for their college classes, encouraging its students to take more college classes with this extra time subsequently allotted.
Currently, LA Harbor College (LAHC) and other colleges associated with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) charge $46 per unit for California residents, an additional $190 per unit for non-California residents ($236 per unit), and an additional $212 per unit for non-US residents ($258 per unit) with a $25 international student processing fee. The typical class of 3 units credit (such as English 101 or Music Theory) would therefore cost California residents $138, non-California residents $708, and non-US residents $774.
Students fall under non-US resident category if they are currently of an F (foreign student), J (exchange visitor) visa, or undocumented status. AB540 students—or students who are currently of an undocumented status but who have graduated from an accredited California high school and have attended California high school (9 to 12th grade) for 3 or more years—are eligible to be exempted from non-resident tuition to pay California resident tuition.
Although LACCD exempts California residents who are enrolled in K-12 schools from this community college tuition (up to 11 units), attending Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (HTPA) is most beneficial for our AB540 and International students.
According to LAHC, California high school students are not evaluated for AB540 exemption until they graduate. Since all HTPA students are enrolled in LACCD, receive a college student ID and are considered college students, however— they benefit from tuition exemption in any LACCD colleges up to 11 units (as applied in regular California K-12 exemption). This means that the HTPA student to whom the AB540 status applies is also able to take classes at LAHC, as long as they earn 11 units or less. In order to be considered for AB540 exemption upon graduation, eligible non-US resident HTPA students must submit a fee-waiver form for each college semester during which they enroll in college courses. Currently to F and J visa HTPA students, LACCD has not allowed AB540 exemption. These students are thus expected to pay the full non-US resident tuition ($258 per unit). These tuition fees are paid for by HTPA (LAUSD), however—not the student. Our school is currently trying to resolve this issue in order to allow fee exemption exclusively to these non-US resident HTPA students as well.
II. How many courses have you taken? How much $ is that?
Each semester, all HTPA students are required to take at least 2 college classes. In 9th and 10th grade, students take contracted classes (classes made for HTPA students, contracted by LAUSD and LAHC). In 9th grade, students take 5 units per semester of these contracted classes; and in 10th grade, students take at least 4 units per semester. Sophomores who have received good grades in both their high school and previous contracted college classes are granted the opportunity to take additional college classes, outside of their contracted classes.
For junior year, students select which college courses they would like to take. During this year, students enroll in an average of 8 units of classes per semester. Many students also take winter and summer classes. During the summer semester, students are allowed to take up to 11 units (before the Summer 2013 semester, students were only allowed 6 units) for free. By the time they graduate, HTPA students thus earn an average of 60 units, while many students complete enough classes to graduate from high school with an Associates of Arts Degree.
By completing 60 units of college courses, HTPA students save $2,760 if they are California residents, $14,160 if they are non-California residents; and they save $15,480 if they are non-US residents for the class enrollment fee.
III. How many courses do you expect you will take before you graduate from high school?
Although HTPA students take an average of 60 units of classes, some students take more college classes in order to earn an Associates of Arts Degree upon graduating from HTPA. If a student passes any AP tests with a 3 or above, LAHC also gives him or her college credit in the equivalent subject.
“So far, I have taken 18 contracted classes (8 PE classes, Personal Development, Health, Fundamentals of Music, Biology, Spanish 101, Spanish 202, 2 semesters of Spanish Lab, Voice, and Physics) and 8 non-contracted classes (Psychology, Sociology, Beginning Guitar, Oral Speech, Business, Political Science, Calculus I, and Computer Arts). This semester, my second semester of my senior year, I am taking two non-contracted classes: Calculus II and College English. I have passed 4 AP tests so far (Biology, European History, World History, and US History), and so I have also received college credit equivalent for each of these tests. By the time I graduate, I will have completed 77 units, or 30 college classes, altogether.” — Grace Ji Hun Yeo
IV. If you were taking those courses at a 4 year institution in your local area how much would comparable courses cost?
Since LACCD has contracted their classes with UC and CSU, most of the classes that students take at LAHC can transfer to any UC and CSU. If LACCD students receive an Associate Degree upon high school graduation and are accepted into a UC or CSU, the Associate Degree allows students to begin their college careers, outside of their previous dual-enrollment, as juniors in college. This also saves students from any fees they would have had to pay at CSU or UC for their general education required courses.
If HTPA students were to take college classes comparable to the ones offered to HTPA students by LAHC at a 4 year institution in the Los Angeles area, such as the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) — it would cost much more than attending LAHC at a full price. California State University at Long Beach (CSULB), for example, charges students based on how many units they take each semester. If a student takes 6 or less units at CSULB in one semester, their total tuition and mandatory fees would be about $2,061. If a student takes more than 6 units, their total tuition and mandatory fees would be about $3,210 per semester. Also, for non-California residents, tuition increases by $372 per unit, so if a non-California resident student takes 12 units in one semester, his or her total tuition and mandatory fees increase to $7,674 per semester. These prices do not include textbook fees, parking fees, or any other fees that students must pay to attend the university.
To take classes at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), it costs students about $4,741 for the mandatory tuition fees only. New students must also pay a $165 Document Fee, adding up to $4,906 for new students. For non-residents, a non-resident supplemental tuition costs $7,626, adding up to a total of $12,532 for one quarter. This is more expensive than a CSU, and this is exponentially more expensive than comparable courses cost at a community college.
If an HTPA student graduates with an Associates of Arts Degree, he or she would thus save anywhere from $8,244 to $28,446.
V. What other college fees are you exempt from paying: i.e. registration? Lab fees? Computer, library, PE?
LA Harbor College does not ask HTPA students for library or computer fees, but HTPA students are required to pay lab and P.E. fees if they are enrolled in college classes outside of their contracted classes. LAHC computer art classes, for example, require $15 lab fee due to the materials being used (Adobe products, printing, etc.). Enrollment fees for HTPA students depend on the amount of units of the course for which a student registers.
VI. How much are the textbooks for the courses you take? How much do you save?
Costs for new textbooks range from about $90 to $300. My AmGov textbook for a Political Science class, for example, cost $90; whereas, my Calculus: Custom Edition for Los Angeles Harbor College textbook for Calculus classes cost $250. Because HTPA provides the textbooks that HTPA students need for college classes taking place in the fall and spring semesters, HTPA students save from about $1,500 to $4,000 on textbook fees alone for college courses upon graduation. Students from other LAUSD high schools that are not middle colleges are expected to pay for their own college textbooks; high schools do not provide their students with these college textbooks.