The Mismanaged State of California Wants To Charge Students Extra For Attending Top Schools

May 9, 2011  |  

by R. Asmerom

Everyone knows that California has been experiencing a colossal financial crisis but are things so bad that the public university system needs to go hierarchal?

Amid budget cuts and staff layoffs, some are advocating that each of the 10 University of California schools determine its tuition rate. This would most certainly result in schools like UC Berkeley and UCLA charging more tuition than less competitive counterparts like Santa Cruz. This plan would align with the supply and demand principles, advocates say, but how does supply and demand enter the equation when it comes to public education?

Critics of the proposal worry that it could create disunity within the UC system and create an elitist environment, as obviously the more pricey, and more competitive, schools would become less accessible to students needing financial aid.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the idea of price differentials in public universities is nothing new.  University of Texas at Austin and University of Wisconsin at Madison are allowed to charge higher tuition than the other state schools in their respective networks.

At a recent Regents meeting, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George R. Blumenthal expressed grave concern over the idea.

If different rates were allowed, he predicted that UC Berkeley would raise tuition the full 25% in “a micro second” and others would quickly follow, not wanting to be left behind in money or reputation. “I think once we go down that road, it could mean that some campuses may not be accessible to large segments of California students,” he said. (Source: LA Times)

 

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