Ideas are flying left and right for how to get our UC system out of its current financial rut. Our chancellor has a couple of his own up his sleeve: raise and lower student fees according to the financial need of each respective campus.

The University of California Board of Regents traditionally imposes equal tuition for undergrads across all nine UC campuses (currently $6,571 per year). If Chancellor Birgeneau’s idea were to be set into motion, each campus would be allowed to raise or lower said asking price by 25 percent.

He writes in his proposal (titled “Access and Excellence”) several upshots to his propositions. Among these: provide incentive for students to attend UC campuses aren’t exactly first in preference for students (as these campuses would lower their student tuition) and provide sufficient funding for the schools to which students flock like madmen (i.e., UC Berkeley. Represent!). Additionally, Chancellor Birgeneau predicts that any gap between top tier UC campuses and leading private schools will be made smaller once our campuses are better funded.

Well, duh.

His idea might look nice on paper–too bad such an idea reeks of elitism. To what end is our world approaching when the chancellor of a highly ranked public university proposes an idea to commercialize and capitalize on its public services to students able enough to afford such a “commodity”? Three cheers for furthering an education gap in our state.

California students want a university that is competitive in their resources, not their resourcing. It’s time for the state to start doin’ what it does best (no, not eliminating same-sex marriages): putting California tax dollars to work.

Image Source: April Isabel Angeles
Chancellor suggests UC campuses set own tuition [SFGate]


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