A $3 per credit hour access and parking fee will be instituted at Miami Dade College starting this fall.
The fee will be accessed to all students — residents and non-residents— regardless of if they own a vehicle or take public transportation.
MDC joins other local institutions that have parking and access fees as well. Broward College charges students $4 per credit hour and Florida International University charges students $164.84 for a yearly parking decal.
“While the College is never enthusiastic about instituting fees, it has become a forced reality given the state funding reductions our institution continues to experience,” said North Campus Dean of Students Malou Harrison.
Earlier this year, MDC’s operational funding was cut $13.5 million.
In addition, the College received zero dollars in capital funding from the Public Education Capital Outlay. This resulted in Hialeah Campus’ Renovation Project and MDC’s General Collegewide Improvements Project being placed on hold after it was vetoed by the Governor.
“Any kind of fee always affects the students and hurts our pockets,” said Kendall Campus Student Government Association President Ruben Gomez. “We the students understand that there is a financial problem occurring in the state and this is a wake up call to tell our politicians not to make financial cuts on education.”
The access and parking fee will be used for various projects including construction of the new five-floor building for student services at Kendall Campus expected to be completed by Fall 2013, according to Harrison.
“The fees ultimately will benefit the students in the long run because if our biggest issue in InterAmerican Campus is our parking, then it will help resolve it,” Suarez said.
The college has not proposed adding additional funding for parking but, instituting a flat rate amongst all students through tuition. Thus, if a student is taking 12 credits they will be paying $36 that semester.
“I don’t see the parking fee as an issue because we spend at least $36 on our cell phone bill so why not spend it on something that will benefit our student body?” said InterAmerican Campus Student Government Association President Alain Suarez.
But not everyone feels the same. Brigitte Barberiz, a 19-year-old Kendall Campus literature major believes the new fee is unfair.
“I find it crazy that on top of the fact that we have to pay a lot of money for classes and textbooks, we have to pay for parking.” Barberiz said, “The College is making it harder for students to afford getting an education.”
For a list of other fees and tuition, visit www.mdc.edu/main/academics/tuition