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.