Students looking outside California for college
College is not only meant to be educational, but also an extremely memorable experience for any young adult who chooses to further his or her education. However, recent hikes in tuition fees are drawing California students away from home.
The Regents recently announced that the tuition cost for CSUs and UCs will go up 8 percent this year. This escalation along with the enormous 32 percent increase from last year is taking a toll on not only current college students but also future ones.
The increased costs are offset by state and federal grants and aid for families with a net income of less than $70,000 a year; however, this leaves middle-class families footing a much higher bill for their children and potentially squeezing them out of a renowned UC education. With all of the grants and programs provided, out-of-state education is starting to look like a reasonable choice.
Sutter Union High School seniors validate that Sutter is no exception to this move. With due dates for out-of-state applications nearing, more students are considering seeking their higher education somewhere else.
Dayton Pierce, an honors student at SUHS, said, "With the recent increases, I'm starting to look more into somewhere far from home, like Michigan State or Boston College." This sort of action forebodes a shift that could potentially do even more damage to California's economy.
Another option for high school students is to attend an out-of-state community college for two years before being transferred. Brendan Ahlers, an advanced senior, said, "I'm looking into maybe going to the community college that feeds into ASU, so it's a little bit cheaper."
Another option for higher education is a community college close to home — yet even many of these students are choosing out-of-state universities. Cameron Olmstead, a SUHS graduate and freshman at Yuba College, said, "After this year in Yuba, I'm going up to Oregon State because it costs almost the same as any UC I would want to go to." For lack of a less-expensive option, students are favoring out-of-state schools.
These increases placed by the Regents will hit current students at CSUs and UCs and also California's economy and the community as a whole. SUHS confirms that in-state students are indeed losing interest and are looking at schools in bordering states that are equal in price and offer their desired major.
With each student who chooses out-of-state, California loses money. Unfortunately, this increase in tuition cost may not help to improve the deficit at all — only to lose the interest of California high school seniors or send either the student's parents or the student into debt for years to come.
Newly elected Governor Jerry Brown has already stated that funding to the Cal State and University of California systems is going to be cut drastically in the coming year. Future double-digit increases in higher education fees are a given with these cuts being proposed by Brown due to the fact that California currently has a structural deficit of $25 billion.
But SUHS students suggest that education may not be the best place to cut.
McKenzie Kimball is a senior at Sutter Union High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.