UC schools Raise tuition by 32 percent

Phillips Academy Seniors applying to schools in the University of California (UC) system have not been troubled by the proposal announced last week to increase tuition at UC schools by 32 percent, according to John Anderson, Co-Director of College Counseling. “University of California has been a popular college choice for many years, and the Seniors this year have not really changed their minds about schools due to tuition spikes,” said Anderson. The University of California is one of many public colleges increasing their tuition due to serious economic strains on state budgets. The University of Oregon, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of South Florida have also announced tuition increases for the coming school year. Erin Liotta ’00, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, said, “California has accumulated a massive debt from the recession and has been struggling to raise internal revenue. In this debt, the government has decided that public education is not a priority anymore and has cut funding.” According to Mark Yudof, President of the University of California system, the ten campus system needs a $913 million increase in state financing next year in addition to raising its tuition. The tuition increase comes with several repercussions. Many students are expected to drop out or transfer to community colleges. In addition, many staff members have been furloughed, and faculty and teaching assistants have been cut from the schools. Liotta said, “The increased fee is a huge problem, but another main concern for students at University of California is that the quality of education will go down without financial support from the state.” Anderson said, “The state of California is spending less money per students and this is likely to affect the quality of education at the UC schools.” Celia Lewis ’10, who applied to UCLA and Berkeley, said, “If a private education is the same cost as a public one in a system that is strapped for funds, the private education sounds like a safer bet solely based on that.” Lewis is a Managing Editor for The Phillipian. Private institutions are also taking measures to deal with the cutbacks in private giving and the loss of endowment due to the unstable economic climate. For instance, Tufts University abandoned its need-blind admissions program last year. Despite the tuition spike, Seniors remain pleased with their decision to apply to the University of California. Emelyn Chew ’10, who applied to UCLA, Berkeley and UC San Diego said, “The tuition spike will not be a major factor in my decision to attend University of California if I get accepted. I applied and want to go to the UC schools because they have strong academic programs and extracurricular options that I am interested in.” Joe Liotta ’10 said, “They are all great, prestigious schools. If you are applying because of the school’s strong academic programs, then the financial status of the school should not matter so much. If you are applying as an in-state student specifically because it’s cheaper, then I can see why this would have a greater impact.” He applied to UCLA, Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara. Applicants that reside in California have the benefit of paying approximately one third of the tuition required of an out-of-state or international student. Josh Feng ’10 who applied to UCLA, Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara UC Irvine said, “Even with the tuition spike, the tuition for the UC schools is still much cheaper than the tuition of other private colleges that I am applying to because I am a resident of California.” Joe Liotta said, “The tuition spike does not make a significant difference for me. Because I am out of state, the costs would be about the same as most of the other private colleges that I am applying to like Georgetown and Washington University in St. Louis.” Current UC applicants predicted that the rise in tuition would probably not affect future Andover Seniors looking into the UC schools or other state colleges. Lewis said, “Even with the tuition spike, UC schools are still pretty affordable compared to many of the other private colleges most seniors apply to. I don’t think the tuition spike will influence future Seniors’ decisions to apply to UC schools.”