Friday, November 21, 2014

University of California Is Set to Raise Tuition

The University of California board of regents, headed by former former secretary of Homeland Security and governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano, has voted in favor to increase tuition at a 5% increase each of the following five years. Out of state students currently pay 35  thousand dollars in tuition and fees across the UC system, not even including room and board which is about $14,000. These totals  are $9,100 above the national average for public 4-year institutions. While the UC system is above the average for all universities, it is under the cost of attending the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia, to name a few. This increase in tuition threatens the availability of attending a college in the UC system by the lower and working class who may not be able to afford the increases. “I would have real trouble paying any more, and so would a lot of people,” said Buckminster Barrett, an undergraduate at the Santa Cruz campus. “They say they’re worried about student debt, but this would force a lot of us to take more loans.” In California the average student graduates college accumulating $20,340 of debt, and many presume this will be another factor that increases that large number. 
During the recent recession California cut one billion dollars of the UC budget, but since the budget has rebounded and it reaches a  seven billion core operating budget. Governor Jerry Brown is a strong opponent of this recent increase in tuition. Brown's plan suggested a 4% increase in funding by the state, but  Janet Napolitano and her committee viewed that as not nearly enough.

Will this increase in tuition create an elitism in the UC system?
Could there have been a way around increase in tuition that was viable? Such as Brown's plan to increase funding or an increase in taxes to support the UC insitution.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/us/university-of-california-tuition-is-set-to-increase.html
http://projectonstudentdebt.org/state_by_state-view2014.php?area=CA

7 comments:

ElizabethZhou7 said...

While an increase in tuition would not necessarily create an elitism in the UC system, I do believe that this hike in cost will only be more burdensome to students. Many college students already have a hard time paying for their education, and despite our country encouraging more people to pursue a college education, how do we expect them to when they can barely pay for it? If the UC regents committee claims that this increase will benefit the system in allowing it to continue to fund its facilities, then why not ask the state to allocate more funding into education? Governor Jerry Brown even proposed an increase in funding by the state, as well as other alternatives to avoid raising the cost of tuition for students. College is supposed to be something that benefits students and expand their learning, not put them deeper into debt. People should not have to struggle to pay for something our country highly emphasizes as important in our society.

Alex Medwid said...

Over time, UC tuition is beginning to approach the tuition for top private schools. Because UC schools can compete with top private schools, this seems reasonable until you realize the amount of taxpayer funding backing up the UC system. Sure, private universities have some rich donors donating a few million here and there, but it's an embarrassment if some rich alumni can do more to fund a school than the entire state of California.

I would agree that more taxpayer funding would be helpful. Any time there is a tuition hike, I remember that the US spends more on its military than the next top 10 nations combined despite not being in any formal war at the moment. I believe many of our nation's financial and problems could be solved by cutting down heavily on military spending. If every other country in the world can survive without such absurd military budgets, the US can reduce its military budget by a bit without being in any major danger. Every state college in the country could have free tuition and we would still have by far the strongest military in the world.

Kelsey O'Donnell said...

People not being able to go to college because they can not afford it is absolutely unacceptable. Universities in other countries are free to everyone, and while I'm not suggesting that, I think that it just goes to show that America needs to get its stuff together. America is about opportunities and getting an education to break the poverty cycle, but with these hikes and the general cost of college around the country, this simply is not possible for lower income students. This hike will create an elitism in the UC system and California needs to figure out a way to appropriate funds to the UCs that are to be used only for financial aid and nothing else. California is doing well financially at the moment, and though this doesn't mean we can "go crazy," it does mean that this state is able to fund the UC system again and that our students should be able to go to college without coming out of it with debts that will haunt them for much of their young adult life.

Katie Wysong 6 said...

Though the raising cost of college is a serious concern, I do not think the tuition increase will create an "elitist" UC system. In fact, the opposite may be true. The revenue raised from the tuition increase is supposed to go to financial aid. Most California students don't pay tuition, because of financial aid (according to the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/us/university-of-california-to-raise-tuition-despite-protests.html). Even though the rate increase likely will not effect the UCs socio-economic diversity, I am not sure it is the best move. It is, however, better to have a measured and planned increase rather than a giant unexpected increase all at once, which has happened in the past

William Miyahira said...

I agree with Katie in that a gradual increase in tuition is more suitable than a quick, dramatic increase over a shorter period of time. And while I don't think that these increases in tuition will result in an elitist UC system, it will probably sway some people away from the UCs who are unable to afford the price of the universitys. Even though students in California may get some amount of financial aid due to their residence in the state, out of state applicants will not be able to see the same benefits.

Rene Chen said...

Despite the differences in top private schools compared to the UC schools, Universities of California have always been known to be both great schools and have affordable costs. Though increasing the tuition would not ineluctably form an elitism in the UC's, it certainly does form a great cause of concern. There are students who can get into great colleges like private, ivy leagues, Uc's, etc, but choose to go to community college for two years simply because of the absurd cost of college. I have even known students in the past chose to go to a UC instead of superior private colleges simply because of the tuition costs. Compare the costs of colleges in America, to say, even Canada, and you will find vast differences in tuition. If the UC system were to increase their tuition in the most viable way, I ultimately would think increasing taxes/apportioning more money to the UC system would be the best choice, for it will give some breathing space for students under huge ammounts of debts, ie) out of state transfer students whom do not reap the benefits in-state inhabitants do, and hopefully send a message to the government, to make them realize that college tuition is too damn high.

Alex Ilyin 6 said...

This increase in tuition is extremely unfortunate, especially considering how hard it is for some graduates to find jobs. Being jobless and having to deal with crippling student loan debts is an awful combination. This will definitely decrease the number of students that enter UCs and are not forced to take student loans. This also places more students in the awkward situation where they don't qualify for financial aid, but paying for college is a financial burden. However, I doubt this will create much elitism in the system. While I do think there were possible ways to avoid this increase in tuition, I believe it was inevitable. In the past couple of years, we have seen an alarming trend where the government turns to education for cuts, instead of funding a department that is needing of some funds.