Know the History: UC Was Free
AFFORDABILITY AND FEES The 1960 Master Plan reaffirmed California's prior commitment to the principle of tuition-free education to residents of the State. However, the 1960 Master Plan did establish the principle that students (as well as faculty and staff) should pay fees for auxiliary costs like dormitories, parking, and recreational facilities rather than the State. Because of state general fund reductions in the 1980s and 1990s, fees were increased and used for instruction at UC and CSU, effectively ending the no-tuition policy. However, these fee increases were accompanied by substantial increases in student financial aid.
— California Master Plan For Higher Education (Summary)
Average UC Undergraduate Resident "Fees" (inflation-adjusted, in 1960 dollars)
As of 2010-2011, undergrads may pay nearly 8 times as much as 50 years ago.
During that time, real wages have decreased for almost everyone, which further compounds this problem. The public is being squeezed out of public services.Source: http://budget.ucsf.edu/downloads/student-fees-1960-present.xls
It's gone steadily up.
- CPEC Student Profile Reports
- Missing years linearly interpolated using general campus FTE enrollment
- 2009, 2010 values estimated using UCOP Projections
State Funding for UC per Undergraduate Student (in 1960 dollars)
With the large cuts expected, the state may spend about one third as much as it did 50 years ago.
- 1958-1964 values are interpolated between 1957 and 1965
Inflation-Adjusted State Funds vs. Fees per Undergraduate Student
- As the blue line falls and the red rises, UC's "public service" becomes available exclusively to those with the ability to either (a) pay more, (b) acquire increasingly massive debt, or (c) win the scholarship lottery. Unfortunately, widening class divisions reflect society in general.
- Since about 2002, UC has never had less state funding per year (what this means for actual UC operations is unclear).
- As Bob Samuels has shown, since over 50% of the undergraduate student credit hours are now being generated by lecturers and grad students, and not by professors, the actual cost to educate a student has gone way down since 1990. Also, the UC has continued to expand class size to reduce educational costs.
- Who should sacrifice, and how much? Should undergraduates and UC's working poor suffer more and more to support the current framework of highly paid administrators and researchers — some of whom are still getting raises — while UCOP ignores other alternatives?
- What about UC's reserves and profits (especially medical centers)? If they're not for a situation like this, what are they for?
- What about less corporate means of restructuring?
- During this entire process, UC's books are closed, secret, even to the legislature. We should all be suspicious of that, including the legislature.
- Where is UC's mission during all this? As of now, administration and research seem to be receiving far more protection from UCOP than teaching and public service (in terms of diversity of access).
- In summary, UC is on a path toward being a private-style university with many public funds and a public name. Is this what the people of California want from UC?
Inflation measures use California Department of Finance State and Local Government Implicit Price Deflator as suggested here. Values for 2008, 2009, 2010 interpolated from previous years.