State serves up another round of fee hikes
November 1, 2010 2:51 PM
As the fall semester transitions into the spring, students are in for more increases in tuition fees. With this being the sixth time fee hikes have been implemented since 2008, it's almost no surprise.
But with the economy in the state that it is, our education system should not be burdened with so much of the budget problems that California is facing.
It's unfair for the administration to require students to pay such an excessive amount for the same, if not depreciated, quality of education. According to an article on the Chronicle of Higher Education, in 2000, the annual tuition at SF State was $2,263. This year, it has exceeded $5,000.
The proposed midyear hike would raise the spring semester price to $2,220 for undergraduates, an increase of $105. Many students will be forced to take out yet more loans, burying them deeper in debt.
Granted, there have been efforts to help the university system, such as a boost in funding in the recent state budget. But officials say that the gains are still unable to make up for severe cuts from previous years that resulted in drastic course cuts, student services and the number of part-time faculty.
How can students be expected to comply with increases of up to 32 percent like the one they imposed on UC students last year?
Last year's fee hikes sparked system-wide protests and these additional increases are likely to upset them more.
If college becomes out of reach to students it will only lead to a lose-lose situation. Students unable to afford the cost will be forced to put their educations on hold while the schools will also suffer and lose money.
On October 7, campuses nation-wide held protests against the fee increase as part of the second Day of Action for Higher Education. Outside SF State's ethnic studies and psychology building, roughly 150 people gathered to listen to speakers that included students, Muni workers and Oscar Grant's uncle.
While the budget crisis remains the root of the problem, other issues continue to arise such as a lack of support from administrators and how the existing funds are being allocated.
Campus officials approved the construction of a recreation center that will use $93 million of student fees; students who will be long gone before the project is finished.
And with all these cuts and tight-budgeting measures, it then leads to the question as to why legislators aren't chopping from the top rather than increasing pressure on the students at the bottom.
Instead of making students pay the deficit out of pocket, legislators should find alternatives to manage the budget issues without affecting the curriculum. Administrators seem to have no qualms with any of the cuts taking place as students pick up the tab for the state's deficient budget.
Education is a right, not a privilege. Students should not be forced into long-lasting debt while competing for class enrollment. It's unfair, unreasonable, and simply unacceptable.
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