California schools continue to increase tuition rate

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California schools continue to increase tuition rate

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For the 2011-2012 fall semester, University of California schools, California state schools and California community colleges increased their tuition. The prices of these schools are scheduled to continue to rise as colleges combat large budget cuts.

As a result of the state budget cuts that took place in June of 2011,Californiapublic colleges budget was reduced by $650 million. In response, the colleges had to raise their tuition. They have recently had one of the highest average increase rates of any state at 21 percent.

“There has been a system wide cutback which included many layoffs, class cuts, larger class sizes, shorter library hours and other setbacks to compensate for the state budget cut including raising tuition,” said the Media Relations representative of the UC office of the president, Dianne Klein.

In UC schools, tuition has risen approximately eight percent from last year’s rate. UC schools will ask the state for $2.8 billion in the 2012-2013 school year in order to compensate for the funds that were taken away from them. UC officials say this request is more of a hope than a set plan that will definitely take course, and if they do not get the money they need, the UC schools might have to take action to further increase their tuition.

“For the first time in UC history, students are paying more tuition to go to college than the state of California is putting into the college system,” said Klein. “Up to this point, the state of Californiahas funded what it costs to go to a UC school, but the state has cut so much that the proportion the state pays is now smaller than what students must pay.”

California state schools have increased their tuition by 17 percent for in-state applicants. In just a decade, tuition has gone from $1,600 to $6,000 for in-state students.CalStateschool’s operating budget has remained the same since 1998 though the number of students attending Cal State has increased by 70,000.

“The tuition increase really affected where I applied to college,” said senior Michelle Brait. “Especially being a twin, the increase has forced me to be very specific in determining if I will apply to certain universities or not.”

Community colleges have increased the cost of classes from $26 to $36 per unit. There are already plans among the state education board to raise the cost to $46 by the 2012 fall semester. The increase has forced more California students to rely on loans than in past years. The students who choose not to apply for a loan have to consider community college and state schools even if they are qualified for a more prestigious college.

“Parents [may not be able to] afford a Stanford even if their child is eligible, [so the decision to] take out a large loan is a difficult one,” said CHS college counselor Robin Lutsky.

The increase in tuition forpublic state schools has the potential to hinder students’ attendance to a college of their choice, because of difficult financial situations. •

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