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Saturday, December 25, 2004
Associated Press on Ever Escalating "Fees"
"In 1960, California leaders pledged a tuition-free ride for state high school graduates with the smarts and gumption to pursue a degree at a public college or university."
I think it's clear to everyone that whatever promises were made in 1960 are no longer operable. I guess the Indians weren't the only ones screwed over by government promises that weren't kept.
That above quotation is from an article on rising student fees, "Some California college students struggling to pay higher fees". Here are the key details and trends from the article:
1) At UC, fees have increased about 60 percent over the past decade. They rose from about $5,200 (including miscellaneous campus fees) in 2002-03, to the present total of about $6,700 for a student with a full-time class load. UC officials said that is about $1,100 less than projected averages for comparable prominent public institutions in other states.There is going to be an increased strain on our schools (UC's and CSU's) as they are forced to deal with a surging college aged population. Meanwhile, the possibility of a bailout from the state seems a longshot. This budget situation, along with other trends, seems to be creating a trade-off between creating one of these two schools:
a) A strongly publicly supported and affordable University comprised of predominantly California residents with a diversity of experience (socioeconomic and ethnic) that reflects the California populace.
b) An increasingly expensive schooling experience that seeks the best possible candidates from other states or abroad who fork up more of their own money and a trend away from reflecting the diversity of California within the students.
These options are two broad trends, and there are a lot of other more specific factors that would fit into either scenario. This article, and previous CalStuff posts on affirmative action or foreign students, reflects the tough choices we are faced with. I think there is generally a tendency by people to see option b as not only an easier and more likely outcome, but also a better outcome, and I think these views are misguided.
The UC's and CSU's are designed to educate primarily California residents and they should continue to do so. Establishing a highly educated workforce is key to maintaining a booming California economy (as the article above mentions) and this should be accomplished by favoring California residents.
Furthermore, calls to admit more foreign or out of state students is usually justified because it can allow Berkeley (and other schools) to become more selective in who they accept. Our goal should not be to maintain ourselves as a world class University by casting a broader net, but to maintain our ranking with students representative of California, and I think Berkeley's consistently high scores in a variety of surveys shows that this is possible. We would be doing the mission of the UC system a disservice if we ignored the principles it was founded on, and increased fees work to undermine that vision.Email This Post!
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