Higher education costs double
Slow fee rise at four-year systems amount to 100 percent increase
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 18:05
Naimah Matthews cannot afford any more tuition increases.
The 64-year-old culinary arts major enrolled at Contra Costa College in the fall after being away for 30 years as a result of the plummeting California economy.
“It used to be an (associate degree) did it, (but) not any more. You’ve got to bring a whole lot more to the table now,” the grandmother said while smoking a clove cigarette outside of the Applied Arts Building on Monday. “Not everybody can walk into a four-year college.”
And with tuition and fees increasing, many students are electing to come to community colleges to avoid paying thousands of dollars at a university.
The price to attend a University of California or California State University has doubled in the last five years as funding to the systems has dipped.
In the 2007-08 academic year, tuition cost an annual average of $6,636 to attend a UC and $2,772 at a CSU, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. During this year, however, those costs have jumped to $12,192 and $6,519 at UCs and CSUs, respectively. UC officials also announced a proposal to raise tuition another 6 percent ($732) in the fall.
This year, for the first time in the state’s history, students paid more to attend a four-year university ($2.75 billion) than the state funded ($2.5 billion). UC funding fell almost $1 billion from 2007-08 to 2011-12.
“(Because of) higher tuition at UCs and CSUs, more people are looking for jobs instead of going to school,” CCC Director of Business Services Mariles Magalong said. “Or they’re looking for alternatives to UC, CSU and community colleges to continue their education.”
Community college fees have also doubled since 2007.
“(Increasing fees), in and of itself, restricts who can come to community colleges,” Magalong said.
The increase in fees, however, qualified more students for Board of Governor fee waivers, which cover the cost of all community college courses.
This resulted in a budget short of reaching projections in 2011 and caused further systemwide cuts and meant more than a half-billion dollars in state budget reductions in 2011-12.
“What was a very accessible, affordable system of higher education in the state is becoming less so,” CCC Interim President Dan Henry said.