Notice how Colorado Mesa University is charging $50 for these classes, but all the instructors are volunteering their time to teach them. As long as all the labor for the program is 100% free to the University, perhaps a lower fee could make this educational opportunity accessible to more people. (Ad from the Daily Sentinel, January 27, 2016)
I would be inclined to dig deeper about this before complaining. The $50 fee covers an unlimited amount of courses, and the volunteer instructors listed in the ad reads like a Who’s Who of subject matter experts, retired educators, and other local professionals.
The university could also be supporting these volunteers with free access to things like computers and projectors, copying and printing services, and the cost of advertising these courses in the paper, although those ads could have been donated as the Sentinel publisher is one of the instructors.
In that context, the $50 seems more than reasonable. Perhaps another community effort, spearheaded by organizations like yours, could help collect funds to assist potential students with all or part of the fees, based on need.