By Tiffany Roesler
Recently, the state has cut $500 million from both the
University of California and Cal State University systems, and
there’s still a chance that another $500 million more will be
slashed from each of the systems’ budgets.
Students have already seen tuition increases, less available
classes, and more staff and faculty losing their jobs. So what’s
Imagine a student attending UCLA pays $16,300 for tuition while
another student attending UC San Diego only pays $12,500 for
The UC system leaders are contemplating whether allowing each of
the 10 campuses should be able to individually control their
tuition prices in attempt to heal the wounds left by the budget
The problem with allowing each campus to have jurisdiction over
its tuition cost is that it’s disrupting the unity of what the UC
system stands for:
“Great schools that offer a great education, and are highly
recognized and respected, which is all at a affordable cost.”
As much as it may hurt the cohesiveness of the system, it would
also put a increased financial burden on the students.
Students already have to find means of paying over-priced
tuition fees whether it’s working two jobs or getting in debt at an
Research done by College Board shows that, “10 percent of
bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with $39,300 or more in
education debt, and a quarter graduated with at least $24,600.”
Californians have been spoiled with the “luxury” of affordable
education that both the UC and CSU systems offer ” until
With these premiums, it’s safe to say that UCLA, UC San Diego,
and UC Berkeley would become big-headed superiors and benefit
financially, while UC Merced ” which only had 12,890 applicants
compared to UCLA’s 61,517 applicants ” would struggle to get
students to remain interested and pay an even higher price.
In fact, by allowing each campus to control it’s budget could
result in schools such as UC Merced losing money, which would
contradict everything this strategy is trying to fix.
According to the L.A. Times the future commission’s report
acknowledged criticism of the idea and potential problems in
The most difficult issue, it said, would be perceived or actual
tiering of campuses and potential negative impact on the perceived
reputation or academic quality of some campuses.
Californians, have never had to worry about this issue
Other states such as the University of Texas, and the University
of Wyoming system’s campuses have been controlling their own
tuition, basing costs on location and population.
Yet all this debate about disrupting the coherence of the UC
system circles back to the roots of this issue: The budget and the
people who have the most power to fix it.
Take Assembly Bill 656 for example.
It would leverage a 12.5 percent tax on oil extraction in
California, and would put that money directly into the California
Higher Education Fund.
An estimated $1-2 billion would be given to higher education
institutions every year.
Sounds great right?
According to Defendthecsu.blogspot.com, the CSU chancellor and
close CSU associates said “no thanks” to the bill because it’s only
allowing the money to be spent on teaching and they’d rather not
have the money if they couldn’t spend it elsewhere.
If someone gives you money but says, “you can only spend it on
tuition,” wouldn’t you still take it?
Such a bill would alleviate the CSU and UC systems of its
troubles therefore the need for UC schools to have premiums would
not need to exist.
Then maybe, students could actually focus on school and not
having to worry about affording it.
The last thing students want to lose sleep over is tuition to
increase on a regular basis and being judged on going to school
that is on a “lower tier” of the public higher education
Students choose a school based on if we can afford it, and
pretty soon a lot of people won’t be able to.
An education is an education no matter how much you pay for it
or what school name is displayed on your diploma.
Illustration by Gary Grinkevich / The Poly Post
UC Campuses shouldn’t be charging premiums
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