Rankings show UC and CSU tuition fastest growing in the nation

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The cost of tuition at various UC and CSU campuses is rising faster than costs at other colleges around the country, according to a Department of Education college cost ranking published Tuesday.

The rankings calculate increases from the 2008-09 academic year to the 2010-11 academic year and show that the UC campuses at Berkeley, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Cruz, San Diego and Irvine as well as the CSU campuses at Long Beach and Chico all experienced a tuition increase of at least 40 percent between those years.

UC spokesperson Dianne Klein said the numbers were not surprising and pointed to the “unprecedented” budget cutbacks at the state level as the reason for the tuition increases.

“If you look at comparable institutions, the UC system is still relatively cheaper,” Klein said.

CSU spokesperson Erik Fallis stated that while every system across the country is facing budget cuts, the UC and CSU systems kept tuition costs low throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, unlike other national education systems, which raised costs during that period.

“When the cuts from the early 2000’s and from the last five years came, we had to have higher tuition increases to make up the difference,” Fallis said.

According to a report by Hans Johnson, senior policy fellow and Bren fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, the nationwide average tuition increase between the 2007-08 and the 2010-11 school years was 19 percent for campuses with comparable enrollment rates to the CSU campuses and 24 percent for those comparable to the UC.

Klein said the UC system is using a combination of layoffs, program consolidation and philanthropic support in order to combat the budget cuts. She also said the universities are looking to implement more system wide efficiencies.

Like the UC system, the CSU system has implemented layoffs and are also consolidating units and vice presidents. Fallis asserted that only half of the deficit caused by budget cuts has been made up through tuition increases, with the rest of the money coming from cuts to other areas.

“State support represents half of the overall CSU budget, so we’ve been cutting and cutting a lot,” Fallis said.

Klein cited the Working Smarter initiative as being integral to their efforts to keep the UC system an affordable option. The initiative, launched in July 2010, streamlines operations across the UC’s 10 campuses using an efficient administrative framework. UC officials say the program will save the university $500 million in five years and reported last July that it had already saved $157 million after one year.

Klein emphasized that the UC system was working diligently to keep the universities affordable for all students. However, the UC Board of Regents approved a 9.6 percent fee increase last July in response to state budget cuts and will be considering a further 6 percent increase when they meet next month.

ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President Natalie Gavello said in an email that she hopes the regents will not increase tuition any further, since many students are already struggling.

“The intention of a tuition increase is to maintain the quality of education during these tough times, but we can’t forget one of the main platforms the UC system was founded upon — a great education that everyone can afford,” Gavello said in the email.

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  • Calipenguin

    “State support represents half of the overall CSU budget, so we’ve been cutting and cutting a lot,” Fallis said.

    Cutting a lot?  Only student services have been cut.  The nurses’ union gets a 6% salary increase, salaries for non-union workers have gone up by 3%,  and celebrity lecturers make a ton of money.  The pain is only felt by students.


  • Berkeleyprotest

    Dianne Klein, Dan Mogulof and the rest of the public relations unit at UC are top-notch propagandists. they misdirect so well

  • I_h8_disqus

    We’re number 1!!!!  Cal once again beats the rest of the nation.  Take that Stanfurd, with your flat tuition costs.

  • Guest

    Well written article! 
    I know for sure my family’s having a difficult time sending our kids towards UCs or even CSUs. We’re looking into private institutions and pulling as many scholarships as possible to make it happen. 
    It’s stressful. 

    • I_h8_disqus

      Maybe you will remember this when you go to vote in November?  Your vote helps decide if we have a legislature like the current one that cuts education or a legislature that puts education before other wasteful programs.

  • Guest

    Thank you, public employee unions.

    • Anonymouse

      Unions have nothing to do with UC tuition….most lower level UC employees are not even unionized, and most lower level employees have gone for years without raises.  UC staff salaries are lower than market, and they are cheerfully chipping away at our retirement benefits.

    • I_h8_disqus

      I am not a fan of public employee unions, but this isn’t really a labor cost issue.  That cost has been fairly stable.  The problem is the legislature hates public education.  It even cut the public education budgets during the high revenue times in the last two decades.  They bloat up the budget with other programs while they cut education, and now that there isn’t as much revenue, they cut education first and then other programs second.  We would much rather spend huge amounts to make prisoners enjoy prison than to give Cal students a good education.

    • Thank you union basher, for proving you have not a clue what you are talking about.

  • Squeezed

    Tuition should have been gradually increasing for the past twenty years, especially when everyone including the State were fat with money.  California’s school administrators  have not been very good fiduciary managers, but somehow manage to retain high salaries and benefits.   The students, parents  and tax payers are being squeezed for more and more, even during the big push toward privatization.