Because the University of California is in a dire financial situation, it must further consider raising nonresident fees for summer sessions. Currently, nonresident students pay the same fee as California residents — $343 per unit — but in the face of monumental cuts to its funding, the university cannot afford to leave anything off the table.
As yearly tuition increases and classes are cut, more students are going to look to summer courses as a way to complete their degrees early in order to save money that otherwise would be spent on fees and living expenses. Subsidizing nonresident fees for the summer incentivizes students from outside the university to attend summer classes, and though their scholarly pursuits are welcome, they should not come at the expense of UC students and residents of California.
While opponents have argued raising nonresident fees for summer sessions would push out-of-state and international scholars away from the university, a modest fee increase should not deter nonresidents from attending the world’s finest public university. But as a public institution of California, it is of the utmost importance that the university give Californians preferential financial treatment.
It is unfair that nonresidents pay the same fees as residents because the university is funded partly through state taxes. Californian taxpayers should not be responsible for subsidizing summer courses for students from outside of California who have not established residency.
However, advocating for further consideration of a fee increase for nonresident students is in no way villainizing these students. Out-of-state and international scholars are crucial to maintaining the excellence of the university. These students provide invaluable diversity on all of the UC campuses. But as California faces a historic budget crisis, it is important that the university act in the best interest of Californians by providing first and foremost for resident students.
The university must continue to work toward a balance between cost reductions and revenue increases. While low student fees are ideal, we must face reality. And unfortunately, reality dictates that the university look to increase streams of revenue while prioritizing Californians.