Fee hike will mean increased health services at Grossmont

GROSSMONT COLLEGE (Press Release) — Student health clinics at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges will be able to offer longer hours, better staffing and more wellness education as the result of a $4 per semester fee increase beginning in fall 2012.

Students at the two East County community colleges will begin paying a student fee of $18 per semester, or $15 during the summer session, under the new fee structure approved Dec. 13 by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board.

Students in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca district have been paying less for student health fees than any other community college in San Diego County. Grossmont and Cuyamaca college students now pay $14 per semester and $11 in the summer, compared to $17 per semester and $14 during the summer at all other community colleges in the county. The other colleges will also be increasing their fees to $18 per semester (and $15 during the summer) beginning next fall.

The most financially needy students who receive public assistance will not be required to pay the student health fee, but students determined to be low-income but not eligible for public assistance will no longer have their health fees waived.

In a presentation to the Governing Board, Cuyamaca College President Mark J. Zacovic and Grossmont College President Sunita V. Cooke said revenues for the student health centers have dropped in the past two years because of decreased enrollment and more low-income students. In the 2010-11 school year, about $165,000 in general funds had to be used to pay for health center costs not covered by the student fees. With less money available, the district was forced to reduce services at a time when more students are unemployed and have no other health care options.

With the additional funding, the health centers will have additional staffing, expanded clinic hours, and will be able to provide more diagnostic tests, screening and lab tests.

The centers will also offer more education about stopping smoking, weight control and alcohol abuse. Additional crisis counseling will be offered, an important service to deal with the stresses of the unemployed and returning veterans.

“Our health centers provide a vital role on our campuses, especially for many of our students who have no health insurance,” said Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board. “These fees will allow us to provide the kind of basic health services that our students deserve.”

Preceding provided by Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District