Tuition rises 5% in UC schools

Mady Christian, Writer

When talking about attending college in the United States, the first and last thing to arise in the conversation is typically the large price tag that accompanies an education.

With many private schools offering a staggering total tuition of over 60,000 a year, many California students take cover from the harsh reality of private school prices under the protective tarp of the UC and CSU educational systems. The UC’s, known for their reasonable in-state tuition fees and nationally-recognized caliber of education, have recently announced a plan that will implement a 5% tuition raise each year, beginning this coming year and concluding after five years of implementation.

“Especially because it’s an exponential 5% each year, it won’t be that drastic my freshman year, but by the time I’m an upperclassman I’ll be paying a lot more than I feel comfortable with,” senior Grady McDermott said. “In my upperclassman years I’m going to start becoming more on my own and I’m going to have to be paying for a more expensive tuition while also having to cover myself financially.”

With the 5% tuition raise happening at an exponential rate, many students who were once eager to apply to schools within the UC system may have to rethink their plans.

“Unfortunately, I think a lot of the decision has to do with tuition,” counselor Mrs. Penrod said. “if you’re someone who has been raised to make decisions based on the price tag, it can easily discourage you from applying.”

After the 5% exponential increase was announced as a highly probable solution to the UC’s need for stronger funding, many students took to protesting under the slogan of “Fight the Hike”, seeking to stop the tuition raise and continue receiving an education at a reasonable price.

“I went and visited Berkeley in November and they completely blocked off the campus protesting “Fight the Hike”, and students were sleeping all night in the hallways to protest the tuition hike,” McDermott said. “People are really passionate because they value their education and they think that the UC system is giving them an amazing education at a lower price.”

Whether or not the UC tuition raise will cause a large deterrence in applicants or changes on a less drastic scale, students may become more inclined to search for more rewarding, cheaper ways of attending college.

“In some cases it ends up being less for [students] to attend a private school with their financial aid packages than it would be to attend a public school,” Mrs. Penrod said. “There are also new legislations for community colleges that ultimately allow community colleges to offer bachelor degree programs, and that’s a way more affordable option.”

For many college students, whether already enrolled or seeking enrollment, the price tag of a college education is one of the strongest deciding factors when choosing whether to attend, and with the UC price increase, attending a once-practical UC school may become a challenge.

“With a lot of the schools I applied to I like to idealize myself going there, but the actual decision will ultimately come down to whether or not I can afford it and what’s going to be the best financial decision,” McDermott said.