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California College Tuition Fees for 2012-13 Continue Upward Trend

September 27, 2012

Despite a sluggish economy, colleges and universities in California continue to raise tuition fees. According to SmartMoney, California tuition fees are up 98.3% from five years ago (read more…)

Adding to the uncertainty, California’s public college tuition fees may rise significantly depending on the outcome of the November election cycle, from Inside Higher Ed: “The state’s projected revenue gap has grown to $15.7 billion from a January  estimate of $9.2 billion. Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget plan, released Monday, described deep “trigger cuts” to higher education that would kick in without the proposed tax revenue. Those  cuts include $250 million reductions for both the University of California and  California State University Systems, a $50 million increase over the January  estimates, and a $300 million cut for the state’s 112 community colleges” (read more…)

Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe commented on the rising cost of college tuition, and the impact on families, “In the United States, accessibility is there for low-income families, and accessibility is there for the very wealthy, obviously, but the group that I worry about is the people in the middle, especially if they didn’t manage to start saving for the child’s college education early. If you don’t do that, then I think you are really faced with either having significant loans or going to a state university.” (Read more…)

And a recent Wall Street Journal article made a similar observation: “According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of recently released Federal Reserve data, households with annual incomes of $94,535 to $205,335 saw the biggest jump in the percentage with student-loan debt from 2007 to 2010, the latest figures available. That group also saw a sharp climb in the amount of debt owed on average.” (Read more…)

Top 5 Tips for Managing the Cost of College

  1. Look out-of-state and take advantage of WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange) savings (read more…)
  2. Look north of the border to Canadian universities – the cost is similar to or even less than out-of-state colleges and Canadian college rank well globally. (read more…)
  3. Invest the time to raise your score on the SAT / ACT – these tests play a key role in merit scholarship awards (read more…)
  4. Take AP (CollegeBoard Advanced Placement) courses relevant to your planned major and score a 4 or better on the AP exam – you will likely receive college credit for courses taken in high school, possibly reducing what it will cost to earn your college degree (read more…)
  5. Apply for scholarships and – if you qualify – federal and state financial aid. (read more…) 2012 College Tuition Survey

Bay Area 4-Year Colleges Type Tuition (’11-’12) Tuition (’12-’13) Change
St. Mary’s College of California Private $37,150 $38,450 +3.5%
University of California – Berkeley Public $14,461 $14,985 *
Stanford University Private $40,569 $41,250 +1.7%
San Francisco State University Public $6,276 $6,888 *
San Jose State University Public $6,840 $7,587 *
Santa Clara University Private $39,048 $40,572 +3.9%
CSU – East Bay Public $6,333 $7,047 *
California College of the Arts Private $37,130 $38,448 +3.5%
Mills College Private $39,264 $40,080 +2.1%
Select 4-Year Colleges (California) Type Tuition (’11-’12) Tuition (’12-’13) Change
California Institute of Technology Private $37,704 $39,588 +5.0%
Chapman University Private $39,320 $41,040 +4.4%
California Institute of the Arts Private $38,260 $39,014 +2.0%
Pepperdine University Private $40,752 $42,772 +5.0%
San Diego State University Public $7,578 $7,578 *
Thomas Aquinas College Private $22,850 $23,600 +3.3%
UC – Davis Public $13,877 $13,877 *
UC – Irvine Public $13,122 $13.122 *
UC – Los Angeles Public $12,686 $12,686 *
University of Southern California Private $42,330 $42,818 +1.2%
Premier Out of State 4-Year Colleges Type Tuition (’11-’12) Tuition (’12-’13) Change
Harvard University Private $39,851 $39,936 +0.2%
Princeton University Private $37,865 $38,650 +2.1%
M.I.T. Private $39,212 $41,770 +6.5%

(source: CollegeBoard 2012 and 2013 College Handbooks, college websites; Tuition includes mandatory student fees, if published, but not health insurance fees)

*2012-13 tuition fees were not published at the time of this writing as per the following note on the UC website: “The tuition, fees, and charges posted here are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures are not final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by State funding reductions. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus a student’s final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.”

College Isn't Cheap

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  1. permalink
    September 27, 2012 9:48 am

    This is exactly why we need to vote in the upcoming elections to have a say in our children’s future – I personally don’t blame the schools, especially the public schools, for high tuition fees. For it’s simple arithmetic. The less funding for schools, the more tuition fees for students.

    I believe the public universities, with quality education, are still one of the best choices for middle class families. Many private universities don’t have academic scholarships available and their criteria for scholarships are mostly need-based, for which middle class families often don’t qualify.

    Since the performance of these universities is measured by high level of academics, both of their students and their faculty, i.e. graduation rates, degrees honored, faculty honors, technology transfer etc., they need to have funds to retain their high standards. Furthermore, I may be wrong, but isn’t academic success one of the criteria that governments use to allocate funds to schools?

    Therefore, we need to urge our legislators to start conversations about how to generate more revenue for our public schools, rather than accepting their reasons to why they are cutting funds. We can urge them to help pass propositions, such as tax allocation options for citizens (i.e. education vs defense etc); encourage academic competition among universities for federal funds; more taxes on luxury items to support education etc.

    For, without education, there will be no high school or college sports either! We would be wasting our students’ athletic or other talents as well, if we don’t emphasize the importance of academic success first.


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