Nationwide, student fees increased 6.6% on average - two-thirds of the increase in California. And inflation, which you might think would drive this? Under 2% nationwide.
Why are student fees increasing at five times the rate of consumer inflation?
Long ago when I attended the University of California, my student fees were in 3 figures. Per year. (Of course, I could live on $10 a week then, too.) The theory behind the U.C. and C.S.U. systems was that higher education was a public good, which should be subsidized. This means that everybody pays some taxes toward it; and everybody's kids can attend. I understand that U.C. "provides more financial aid than other state systems." (With price increases like that, I hope to God they do!) Here are the explanations U.C. gives for the increase:
to maintain and improve the quality of instruction, expand student mental health services, increase financial aid and help raise faculty and staff salaries closer to market rate.I'm tempted to suggest that if they didn't raise the student fees so high, they could budget less for financial aid, and that student mental health might be improved by not having to worry about money; but let that pass. What really fries me are the salary increases, which I doubt seriously are going to the faculty. The salary increases are going to pay senior executives in the U.C. system corporate-grade salaries (yeah, I've heard all the arguments, and I don't believe them), and they're taking it out of the students' hides. This is just plain WRONG, and it will produce an uneducated underclass in California which can't do the "knowledge industry" jobs that everyone says the economy needs, because they can't read or think.
I don't want California to become a state where only the rich can afford to attend the state university system. I don't consider that a good use of my tax money.
I'm so pissed at U.C. that I'm considering halting my donations to the University proper. I'll still donate to the Library; but the money I was giving to the Chancellor's Fund, I may now give to the Alumni Association, for scholarships - they'll need it.