California Students Protest, Riot Over Tuition Gouging

Responding to UC regents’ efforts to slap students with a 32 percent tuition increase, groups at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA and other schools took to the streets, 1960s style, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Things apparently got the craziest at UCLA, the Chronicle writes:

Students, furious at the increase that will bring their yearly fees above $10,000 for the first time, rushed the UCLA building where the regents were meeting, throwing food, sticks and vinegar-soaked red bandannas meant to look like blood.

UC police arrested 14 people for disrupting the meeting and resisting arrest.

Although the protests probably won’t have any effect, it’s nice to see the students stand up for themselves. Unlike the UCLA football and basketball teams, which have both started their seasons awfully.

Rage at UC fee hike in L.A., Berkeley protests [San Francisco Chronicle]
(Photo: Paul Chinn, San Francisco Chronicle)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ShruggingGalt says:

    Gouging? Isn’t that amount still below the federal student loan per year max?

    • chuloallen says:

      @ShruggingGalt: Must be gouging because they expect it to be free.
      $10K per YEAR is cheap, that is 5k per semester. or less than $1000 per month per semester or $400 per semester hour (at 12 hrs per semester)

      • hotdogsunrise says:

        @chuloallen: But it is 32%. That is huge. There’s a reason people go to state schools. And a 32% increase, no matter how small the dollar amount may be, may be tough for some students to pay.

        Nevermind the law schools in California that are going to be charging $60,000 for out-of-state tuition. Yowza.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @chuloallen: It depends on your definition of cheap. According to the UC website, tuition is $8,700 right now. An increase of 32% means $2,784. That’s a lot of money, and it could mean that some students can no longer afford to go to UC.

      • veg-o-matic says:

        @chuloallen: It’s unclear from the article if that’s just fees that are above 10k, not including tuition.

        Fees are where most universities make the big money – and which, coincidentally, are not covered by federal student loans.

        But yeah, god forbid students take an interest in the governance of their institutions.

        A certain large public university I know gives its chancellor a big ol’ house on campus property and just advertised a 45K per year position for a housekeeper and menu planner. And yet they continue to raise fees just like UC does, claiming they just don’t have money anywhere. They have it, they just don’t want to give it up.

        • Michael Belisle says:

          @veg-o-matic: Tuition and mandatory fees are covered by federal student loans.

          You may use the money you receive only to pay for education expenses at the school that awarded your loan. Education expenses include school charges such as tuition; room and board; fees; books; supplies; equipment; dependent childcare expenses; transportation; and rental or purchase of a personal computer. Talk to someone at the financial aid office at your school if you need more details. []

        • rugman11 says:

          @veg-o-matic: It’s unclear from the article if that’s just fees that are above 10k, not including tuition.

          UCLA doesn’t have traditional tuition. Their “fees” are tuition. And I can’t say this should come as a surprise. The state is billions of dollars in the red. They need money to come from somewhere.

          • Sheogorath says:

            The cruel irony is that this is, I believe, technically illegal under the California state constitution. The state universities are only allowed to charge the barest minimum, although, as with every other state which has a similar clause regarding state university systems, it’s conveniently ignored by everybody.

      • Osi says:


        No, 10K is way over priced ,unless you go to a snobby rich kid school …. UCLA does not match that description.

      • lannister80 says:

        @chuloallen: 12 hrs? Come on, 15 in standard. Even a better deal.

      • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

        @chuloallen: community college in NC is $50/credit hour, so about $150 per course. plus $150 in books…

        • Coelacanth says:

          @gStein_is on the new consumerist site: Yes, however several UC campuses compete in prestige to many Ivys. A comparison is only valid if you’re discussing lower-division courses, and then transferring.

          However, may it be noted transfer students often are disadvantaged at their 4-year institutions since they lack the social networks and institutional knowledge to be competitive with those who entered university their freshman year.

      • thisistobehelpful says:

        @Michael Belisle: And at the bookstore!

      • hk458 says:

        Actually its more like $16,000 per QUARTER thats right 16,000 every 2-3 months.
        The $10,000 was an increase in quarterly fees. Since your so good at math you should figure out how much that comes to.

  2. lpranal says:

    “Although the protests probably won’t have any effect”

    Wow, pessimistic much? While I don’t think they’re going to lower tuition just because of this, and maybe hardly any public officials will take notice now, what if just 2 other campuses across the country started doing this? and two for each of those? The inflated price of education is like a powder keg, with enough pissed-off students, who knows, maybe we could actually see some progress.

    I don’t know if this will change anything immediately, but It sure as hell is better than complacency and sticking our heads in the sand about tuition gouging.

    • unpolloloco says:

      @lpranal: California’s budget crisis means that there’s little chance of any tuition cuts.

    • huadpe says:

      @lpranal: They won’t have effect because the state of California is completely broke. The cost of providing the education is well over $10,000/student (probably over 20,000), so the university alone can’t possibly lower tuition without a government subsidy.

      That subsidy can’t be given because the state is out of money. It’s not even like they could raise taxes all that much. The state has very high overall taxes already, and raising them much higher would push businesses out, causing tax revenue to be much less than you’d think, and at a sufficiently high tax rate, to fall.

      California is very, very, very broke. The only way to fix this is to massively hike taxes or massively cut spending. Since the people in CA have voted down the former measure, the state only has the latter left to it, and this is the result.

      • Darklighter says:

        @huadpe: California’s taxes are actually much closer to the middle of the road than people make them out to be, and there are plenty of sources of revenue available. Property taxes have been kept artificially low for decades, and we’re the only oil-extracting state that doesn’t impose an extraction fee. The problem is that in either the legislature or on the ballot, California requires a 2/3 vote to increase revenue, but just a majority to cut it. The result is a minority that holds the state budget hostage every single year.

        • huadpe says:

          @Darklighter: California has low property taxes, and high income taxes, this is true. Raising property taxes right now is not just politically infeasible, but practically infeasible. California’s housing sector is in dire straits. A massive new tax on housing would be incredibly destructive to an already weak tax base.

          And, well, forgive me if I’m not excited by the prospect of much higher taxes.

    • coffeeculture says:

      @lpranal: It’s true though, there was “outrage” a few years ago when tuition spiked, but people forgot about it a month later.

      In fact, same thing happened earlier this year. Same situation…protests in September, forgotten by October. Brought up again in November, will be forgotten as the holidays roll around.

      business as usual… (I’m a UC alum)

      • lpranal says:

        @coffeeculture: @subtlefrog: @huadpe: I don’t feel that these are compelling arguments for accepting the state of affairs, namely the acceleration of the increased cost and decreased value of a college education. I’m not saying anyone has the answers yet, but just looking at the numbers should make people upset. If we reach the point where the value of a college degree is almost nil, and it’s cost is prohibitive (is this reality really that far off?), we essentially become a zombie culture, with no prospect for anything better than what we have now.

        That is to say, I think this is important enough for us to demand action, like the students are doing.

  3. FatLynn says:

    I’m very curious to see the alternate proposal put forth by the student. The article does not mention what services they’d like to see cut.

    • TheRealAbsurdist says:

      @FatLynn: My stepdaughter goes to Cal. One of the “services” she’d like to see cut is the raises that the Regents voted themselves after voting to both cut classes (and entire departments) as well as raise fees. It’s a little difficult to make an intelligent decision about a career path when you enroll (contract) in a particular school and department for a 4-year program only to have the Regents arbitrarily eliminate that department. But thanks so much for the completely uninformed blame the students snark, it helps the discussion so much.

    • utensil42 says:

      @FatLynn: The raise the Regents gave themselves is almost spot on the amount our fees are being increased. That’s what I’d like to see cut!

    • chuloallen says:

      @FatLynn: In the article it says “greeted by feisty pickets chanting, “No cuts, no fees, education should be free”

      Their plan? Free

    • passionflower says:

      @FatLynn: They could start by cutting the raises the Board of Regents gave two dozen UC executives back in August: [] Of course, that wouldn’t solve the bigger budget crisis but it would be a great symbolic gesture.

      I’ve also know that faculty and staff have proposed alternatives to increasing student fees. And it’s not necessarily a question of cutting services–there are many ways to address a budget crisis.

  4. allknowingtomato says:

    My undergrad education cost $40+k per year. In a climate where it snowed for 6 straight months. If students in sunny CA want a free education, they should emigrate to France.

  5. nova3930 says:

    Gouging? As if they’re being forced to go to college. If they think its so terrible, well, I hear Micky Ds is hiring. They can see first hand if thats the better option.

    Between the two of us, my wife and I have ~$200k in loans from college so I really have no sympathy. Suck it up and deal with it as the price for a better life.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      @nova3930: Right, because if you’re offering a chance at a better life, then you have, not just the right, but the imperative to keep raising your fees to exorbitant highs. Just because you spent an assload on tuition doesn’t mean that everyone has to. This sort of rationale is why bad traditions stick around. (Please note that this is a reference to the high cost of tuition in general. UCLA is still relatively cheap.)

      • captainpicard says:

        @AstroPig7, @pecan 3.14159265:

        i think your judgement of his statement is flawed. No one forces them to go to THAT college. I am all for higher education but colleges raising tuition is not something out of the ordinary, your going to be in school for 4+ years you have to take that into account. Just because the OP is griping about how other people are griping doesn’t invalidate his claim. College (including which one you go to) is a choice, a good choice but a choice none the less. You have the power to change your circumstances (hence they go to college).

        I wonder what would happen if schools grandfathered in students at a certain rate for a certain time when it comes to college tuition increases? hrm, interesting.

        • ARP says:

          @captainpicard: True, but if you’re a California resident and you want a good education for a reasonable amount of money, where else do you go?

        • NatalieErin says:

          @captainpicard: Raising tuition is one thing. Raising is well above the level of inflation is another thing entirely.

          My boyfriend is at the University of Minnesota, which has had double digit increases every year for the past decade. That easily outstrips increases in average income or available state and federal aid. Students end up taking out private loans, forcing many college graduates into situations where they can’t make ends meet because their loan payments are so high.

          And if the tuition skyrockets while a student is halfway through school, they might be stuck. Dropping out puts any existing loans into repayment, which they now have to pay at a low wage job. Staying in school means taking on additional loans.

  6. Erwos says:

    The state is in a huge fiscal crisis. Something has to give. Making the people using the institution actually pay more for it seems like a reasonable decision in that context.

    Sometimes, there’s just nothing else to cut, and it’s not like staff are gonna work for free to give you a free education, right?

    • hypnotik_jello says:

      @Erwos: You can blame Proposition 13 in 1978 for that, making the raising of property taxes an untouchable “third rail” of california politics.

      • meadandale says:


        Congratulations on being the first idiot to bring up this old canard in this thread.

        California has a SPENDING problem not a REVENUE problem.

        Obviously you don’t own property in CA…

        • Darklighter says:

          @meadandale: Nonsense. From the Legislative Analyst’s Office:

          Real per-capita spending-which adjusts for both inflation and population growth-would increase by about 2.2 percent over the period [1998-99 to 2008-2009], for an average annual rate of 0.2 percent.

          • meadandale says:





            I’d suggest that anyone living in CA that thinks that we aren’t taxed enough puts their money where their mouth is and writes a check to the government to show their committment to the concept that we aren’t taxed enough. I’ll look forward to seeing your cancelled check.

            • Trai_Dep says:

              @meadandale: There’s a Free Rider problem embedded in your observation.
              Attend UCLA if you’re unfamiliar with the term.

            • Techguy1138 says:

              @meadandale: Nope. I’ve lived in many places NYC is one of them, Although the taxes are incredibly high they aren’t high enough. No place offers the kind of services for daily life that I’ve seen here.

              It’s quite frankly to cheap to live here(LA). THe number of people here far exceeds the infrastructure. We are under constant drought conditions and there is traffic on the 405 at 1am. If this place stopped being so cheap people would be forced to move out and live elsewhere freeing up the roads and water infrastructure.

              People who do their best to live here with less tax are leeches. They live in far off places, where they need a larger share of water resources and depend on the states massive transit system. They move to a place where there is a small pocket of education that bucks the general trend so they can try and get better education than they are paying for.

              It’s nice that the option to live out in the boonies is there but with taxes as high as they are; wouldn’t you rather just move from my state? Arizona is very close and has much lower taxes along with great weather. Go there.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      @Erwos: I take issue with this argument because the problem could very well be solved by changing the way the school runs. While I don’t have any knowledge of UCLA’s management, I know that other schools (I’m looking at you, Southern Methodist University) waste millions on sports programmes that go nowhere. While I have no objection to collegiate sports in general, some schools apparently justify their existence by them, and the students suffer in tuition and fees.

      • bhr says:

        @AstroPig7: Football and Mens Basketball are usually money makers for schools. And Title IX mandates that there are equal scholarships for female athletes.

        Plus, want to piss off alumni donors just cut the sports teams. Thats the schools identity in most cases.

        • AstroPig7 says:

          @bhr: This is exactly my point. Schools are for education, and if they want sports on the side, then that’s not a problem. However, why should anyone have to pay exorbitant tuition to fund a sports programme that in some cases is utterly pathetic? I mentioned SMU because they have a coach who is being paid approximately one million dollars to revitalize their teams, and the results have been exceptionally lackluster. If your sports team is bringing in fans, then go ahead and dole out the big money; otherwise, you’re just wasting your students’ cash and pissing them off in the process.

          Basically, if a sports programme is pulling in enough profit, then a school shouldn’t have to raise tuition to fund it. If otherwise, then they royally screwed up somewhere along the way.

          • bhr says:

            @AstroPig7: Student still attend games at minor institutions. D3 schools have athletics as well (no scholarships). Colleges have had intercollegiate athletics for centuries.

            Alumni come back for games, donate money and rally around a schools teams. $1M for a coach may well net $10M in donations

      • solipsistnation says:

        @AstroPig7: UC Santa Cruz has no sports program.

      • Powerlurker says:


        My alma mater (Rice University) could cut its tuition by about $3000/head if it dropped its football program from Division IA to Division III. The student body doesn’t particularly care about it and it doesn’t seem like the alumni do either as they have had to resort to hanging free tickets on the doors of houses in the surrounding neighborhood to try to fulfill NCAA attendance requirements. The athletic program loses tons of money for very little upside.

  7. TheMonkeyKing says:

    I know I am going to sound like an ass, but I believe secondary education is always a privilege and not a right.

    I’m sorry that the price has gone up unexpectedly. (well, not really, after seeing the plight of Cali trying to reign in their deficits) Used to be some companies offered employment for life, now that’s no longer the case. Beyond what our Constitution and Bill of Rights offer us, everything else is ephemeral.

    • admiral_stabbin says:

      @TheMonkeyKing: I don’t think that makes you sound like an ass at all. Rather, a pragmatic realist that is grounded in reality. If that makes you an ass to some, then I would advise not putting an exceptional amount of value in what they think.

      I do think such a drastic tuition increase is absurd though. If the cost of providing their services increased that much, that’s one thing. But covering up for other problems by taxing the lowest common denominator is an epic case of shit rolling down hill.

      The moral of this comment is not to stand at the bottom of a hill.

    • DangerMouth says:

      @TheMonkeyKing: I don’t think you sound like an ass, but think of the wider implications. Do you want to live in a country with the best fast-food workers in the world, or a country which is consistently at the forefront of industry, technology, science? I can imagine a future where other countries make jokes about ‘American call centers’ the way we joke today about Indian call centers.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @DangerMouth: Or more colorfully, would you prefer the future America to be closer to Alabama or California? And those were the only two choices.
        The simple fact is that China has us beat solid for untrained, rote workers. We need a different comparative advantage, and dumb-but-God-Fearin’ doesn’t promise much.

    • holytrainwreck says:

      @TheMonkeyKing: Well, no, you don’t sound like an ass. Education has to be paid for. Either the student pays, borrows for it, gets bursaries/scholarships, and/or taxpayers chip in.

      Some countries consider education a right and as such provide it through taxation, like public school.

      The U.S. has decided otherwise because of prevailing ideologies. That doesn’t make you an ass, just someone who’s opinion differs from mine.

  8. strawberryjam says:

    The article doesn’t say, but it’s likely that a salary increase for the regents was voted on as well. It’s happened in the CSU system for the past 5 years and is happening in the UC as well.

    THAT is the real outrage – that these board members, who are getting compensation upwards of 500k a year or more, feel it’s necessary to put through a 5% or 10% “cost of living” wage increase for themselves while students are getting shafted with reduced classes, furloughed staff, reduction of school services and higher tuition.

    My CSU President was getting paid $412k a year – living in a rural county of less than 80,000. He received a yearly housing bonus of $50k, a $25k car allowance, and received a 12% cost of living increase last year – while our university began cutting majors, classes and services amid yet another 10% tuition raise.

    He was given a Vote of No Confidence by the Academic Senate for his behavior and actions throughout the previous year – but was still given a 12% raise.

    Why individuals are ever allowed to vote on their own raises is beyond me. Put that to a city-district-county-college vote and see if you DESERVE it.

    • tjames says:

      @strawberryjam: “THAT is the real outrage – that these board members, who are getting compensation upwards of 500k a year or more, feel it’s necessary to put through a 5% or 10% “cost of living” wage increase for themselves”

      Are you talking about the Regents? They aren’t paid. It’s right in the bylaws under compensation.

      However, I would like to see transparency on the costs of administration and faculty, including retirement plan costs (which undoubtedly are underfunded).

  9. Falcon5768 says:

    Wait will bring it above 10 grand for the first time?

    Jesus It was above 10 grand a year for me at a NJ state school (NOT Rutgers) 9 YEARS AGO. Thats with living in NJ and NOT living on campus which made it even more.

    Talk about catching up with the rest of the nation there California.

  10. ams199 says:

    Wow: “The university’s Blue and Gold program covers tuition, though not living expenses, for students from families earning up to $70,000 – just raised from $60,000.” So your average middle-class family gets tuition free, as well as all low-income students? That is a great program – I graduated with plenty of student loan debt which would have been almost completely alleviated if this program was in place at my school (in PA).

    Seems a shame that those who do make a bit more, have to make up for the shortfall, though.

    • defectiveburger says:

      @ams199: NatalieErin’s right. $60K in California is more or less poverty, unless you live in Fresno… Even with this program in place, I’ve yet to know a single person who’s qualified for free tuition in the 5 years I’ve attended and worked at a UC.

  11. Mobius says:

    They are rioting because the residents of California are no longer subsidizing their education as much as they used to. I think I’m going to riot because those students aren’t going to buy my lunch today.

  12. IndyJaws says:

    Wait…isn’t it about time to somehow blame Sallie Mae for this?

  13. Covertghost says:

    32% price hike is ridiculous, I agree with this protest.

    I’d join in, but alas I’m halfway around the country right now.

  14. W10002 says:

    For residents of California, there’s always the Cal State colleges…

    In all seriousness, this really sucks. I remembered when I started going to one of the UCs in 2002, tuition was about $4000 a year. That’s about $1300 a quarter. Now tuition has over doubled in the past 7 years. Talk about major inflation.

    I’m kinda glad I graduated before the fees went up so high, but I feel sorry for my sister, who started college this year, and has to deal with the major fee increase at UCSD.

    • elaborate bacon (princessprissypants) says:

      @W10002: CSUs are going up too- next semester there’s going to be an extra $400+ fee for each course you take in my graduate program. The program is still one of the lowest in the country but if you’re like me and you took out the minimum you needed in loans and are working for next to nothing while going to school, the extra $1200 (if you take 3 courses) hurts like hell.

  15. solipsistnation says:

    It doesn’t help that Yudof, president of the UC system, said some pretty arrogant stuff in a recent interview for the NY Times…

    I work for UCSC, and we had to cut something like 20% from my department budget (which includes a bunch of heavily-used services), we had a bunch of people laid off, and we all took pay cuts between 5% (for people on the lower end of the salary scale) to 10% (for people on the higher end). The state is out of money, and protesting at the university won’t help…

    Also, they asked us to stay home today and not come to the office because students are occupying the building in which I work, so there’s their tuition dollars at work.

    • creativecstasy says:


      I am a UCSC student and staff member as well. There is no denying this whole situation is a mess on many levels. However the way the occupation of Kerr Hall is being handled is hurting the cause more than helping at this point. Have you seen the list of demands?

      • solipsistnation says:

        @creativecstasy: Yes, I’ve seen the list of demands. Some of them are reasonable (if unlikely). Some of them are kind of silly, and a few are totally ridiculous.

        Their demands are here: []

        Repealing the fee increases, making the budget transparent, keeping the child-care center open, and things like that? Yeah, those are reasonable.

        Repeal of staff furloughs? Well, I’d like to see that (and I bet you would too), but I think that’s unlikely.

        Abolition of all student debts? Heh. Don’t hold your breath on that one.

  16. smartmuffin says:

    As long as the public school system and the media continue to brainwash people into believing you CANNOT be successful without a four-year university education, universities will be able to literally charge whatever they want and people will pay it.

    I encourage all high school students, and parents thereof, to consider some of the many alternatives that could lead to a successful and prosperous adulthood without tacking on hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to an 18 year old.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    The amount of pet projects, Chancellor’s residence’s landscaping fees, traveling junkets, etc would boggle the mind.
    Rather than slash these areas, they target students and their already poorly-paid staffers and faculty.

    And to those from states that don’t support their kids, compare/contrast California’s growth (largely due to our educational system) to yours. Wouldn’t you want ALL of America’s kids to be lifted up, rather than dragged down to the economic state of, say, TX, MI, AL or GA? Don’t you want America to succeed?

    • GearheadGeek says:

      @Trai_Dep: As a Texan, I’m well aware that our K-12 public education system is not the best in the US, but sites like rank Texas K-12 schools higher than CA (full disclosure, the non-paid info available was for 2003, so it’s not the freshest stuff out there.) Texas universities are quite good overall, though the environment in some is skewed heavily to the conservative side.

      CA has recently been experiencing growth we don’t need, such as growth in foreclosures and people scraping to make the payments on homes that are worth much less than they owe on their mortgages.

  18. NotChoinski says:

    I certainly hope these protesters are also actively fighting the absolutely-no-taxes-government-is-socialist teabaggers.

    Education costs money. Healthcare costs money. Bridges and responsible Energy and public safety all cost money, but god forbid people pay for it or cut out the corporate middleman making obscene profit with crappy deliverables.

    Personally, I’d have no problem paying 50% in taxes if my health, housing, and education were no longer an issue

  19. hi says:

    Funny how every protest there is a riot. Did you know protests are planned and given the ok to protest and the police know when the protest is going to happen beforehand? Did you know the police put undercover police dressed up as protesters wearing masks and when they want they start riots by throwing rocks or burning trash cans or hitting their own police in order to give the real police a reason to beat the protesters and clear the streets?

    I bet you think I’m making this up.

    Agent provocateurs:


    In the United States, the COINTELPRO program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had FBI agents pose as political radicals to disrupt the activities of radical political groups in the U.S., such as the Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

    Caught on tape in Canada dressed up wearing masks with rocks in their hands:

    There’s so much more I don’t have the time right now to post so LOOK IT UP NOW. It is real, and it is criminal that they do it.

    • hi says:


      This is from the canadian protest where they were caught in the act:

      “Police said the three undercover officers were only at the protest to locate and identify non-peaceful protesters in order to prevent any incidents.

      Police came under fire Tuesday, when a video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to show three plainclothes police officers at the protest with bandanas across their faces. One of the men was carrying a rock.

      In the video, protest organizers in suits order the men to put the rock down, call them police instigators and try unsuccessfully to unmask them.”

  20. MoreFunThanToast says:

    When I started at UCI the tuition was 6k a year. Considering UC are public schools, 10k a year is not cheap, we go to public schools for a reason.

    Also the quality of the education is not getting better but worse. I don’t know about the UC but the CSU are getting school wide shut-downs and furlough days for teachers, the students are paying more for less education.

    Summer session for CSU Pomona was canceled and many majors were cut from the campuses.

    Oh yea, and UCI in the recent years spent 3.6 Million dollars on the renovations for the arts plaza which include this fountain by Maya Lin. 3.6 Million dollars that could go to the up-keeping of our studios and photography lab, but no, they spend it on a piece of water leaking rock.

  21. helloashley says:

    Also, I think some have forgotten to note that public schools are the cheapest options for getting a 4 year degree (you can start at a community college but you have to finish at a 4 year uni). So that means that there IS no cheaper option for students–it’s not the same as one little private school deciding to raise fees. These increases will guarantee that some students will drop because of increased fees and will never come back./

    • Coelacanth says:

      @helloashley: UCs are supposed to be relatively elite. I’m not sure what the fee structure for the CSU system happens to be, but it in a certain light it may be more sensible for the CSU system to have lower tuition by being the second-tier institution.

  22. bleigh says:

    Wow, tuition in NY is still only @ 5k/yr without dorming.

  23. Citizen Kang says:

    Go BRUINS!!! Fight the power! When I was an undergrad at UCLA tuition when up almost 4,000%. That’s not a typo! It went from being practically affordable (if you ignore that rent in Westwood [for half a bedroom] cost about 4 times the tuition) for a student with a job to outside the reach of a part-time job (requiring student loans). Dollar for dollar it’s still the cheapest game in town for a world-class research university ranked in the top 25 (rivaled only by UC Berkeley), but this does not bode well for the democratizing of the socio-economic representation of the student body.

  24. krispykrink says:

    Yes it’s horrible to get slapped a 32% increase in tuition. But here’s the straight up deal:

    CA is fraking broke! We’re on the verge of total bankruptcy, a complete failed state. Tax revenue is dropping and more people are evacuating the state in record numbers.

  25. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    I think one argument that is rarely brought up is that taxpayers in their mid 30s to mid 50s were able to pay little tuition because they were largely subsidized by the taxpayers of their state. Now that those same people – who benefited from such largess – are in charge they are slashing subsidies to these schools. So naturally tuition has risen and risen.

  26. Ken says:

    Tuition is like local taxes, no matter what they are paying, people think they are paying too much.

    Compare them to the 10 state schools in the Big 10.
    Currently, they are paying less than students at 9 of those schools. After the hike, they will still be paying less than students at 5 of them.


  27. chocobo says:

    Where does all this money go? These universities were charging 30-50% less just a few years ago, and they were able to cover all of their costs just fine. Why do they suddenly need so much more?

    I understand that costs rise each year, and they have risen more than average in recent years, but that comes nowhere close to explaining these huge tuition increases. So what is the money for? Splurging on new equipment they don’t need, or what?

    Or are the costs somehow justified? Is it an effort to reduce class sizes at an overpopulated school?

    In this economy, people working and teaching at universities should count themselves lucky to be employed…

  28. Weakly says:

    Let me summarize 90% of the comments here:

    WAAAA! I paid a lot for college, so these students should too. No, I haven’t considered what might happen to this country if a generation of talented, hard-working students didn’t get a college education. I just don’t want them taking my money — I’m still in debt from paying my own college fees!

  29. gjones77 says:

    Don’t blame the government, blame the voters.

    California is the closest thing we have to an actual direct democracy.

    Get 500,000 signatures and your cause becomes a ballot measure that the populace can vote on, once it passes everyone feels good they didn’t something to help the environment/homeless/kids/world peace.

    Now, once the measure passes and becomes law the government then needs to pay for it, so a vote comes up to raise taxes to fund this new law, and everyone votes no because no one wants their taxes raised.

    So, we have a state that wants everything for everyone but no one wants to pay for it.

    Recycle this process for a few decades and you have the current California budget crisis.

  30. halcyondays says:

    The really sad part is once they finish college there are no jobs for them in California. That state is going down the tubes.

  31. Zegridathes says:


    For the curious, the link is a database of UC employees’ salaries/overtime pay for 2008.

    Information like this is, I believe, freely available for any public university.

  32. mdovell says:

    The fact of the matter is although the percentage certainly is high we have to consider a few things here

    1) the federal government gives loans to people to be students regardless of if they can pay them back or not. With this being the case schools don’t care since they receive the money. If the student doesn’t pay it goes on their record not the school

    2) The argument of “Everyone that wants to go to school should” or “We need to be competitive” doesn’t jive because the more people that go to school as a percentage of this country the less value a degree has. A bachlors degree for lack of a better term is what a high school diploma was 45 years ago. If this continues people might have to get a masters…heck Target requires a bachlors degree to be a department manager!

    I recommend this for advice for school

    1) take a year or two off when turning 18…why? because there’s probably some dumb thing people do them..the UK has this mentality

    2) go to a two year school first…why? if they drop out after two years at least there is something to show for it…an associates looks better on a record than two years at a four year. Besides it’s also cheaper

    3) Don’t live on campus. I’m sorry but paying 4-12K just to live at a place near campus doesn’t jive. For that amount you can get a car…having a car and living on campus doesn’t work well as they don’t allow as much of it… online classes also help

    4) Take classes in the winter and summer breaks. Often times they only raise rates at the end of the year. This helps hedge against inflation

    5) don’t get into any relationships with others at school. It doesn’t make that much sense given how people can have opposite schedules

    6) Save up money BEFORE going to school. The idea that the government would fund you constantly doesn’t work. When you are able to go to school without worrying about working helps because you can finish classes easier. I know this isn’t easy but debt these days is not an option.

  33. mdovell says:

    “At most (if not all) 4-year schools, freshman are not allowed to live off-campus.”

    Not in mass…or RI…or CT…or VH and NH. Where I am freshman can drive to school but they aren’t allowed a car on campus AND have a dorm…either one or the other.

    “Also, in many college towns, on-campus living is actually cheaper than living off-campus. In Santa Cruz and Berkeley, for example, rents are fantastically expensive. If you then try to factor in owning a car, you aren’t actually saving any money. (Remember, car expenses are more than just the car itself, or even the car and the gas. You have insurance, maintenance, and what could be very expensive on-campus parking.) You could take public transportation, if you live somewhere that has it. Santa Cruz has a huge bike population, but then you’d better have health insurance…”

    huh? I’m not sure what the CA law is but in Mass even before the health reform all college students must have insurance…at least I think for full time. If full time you have the option of going on the school plan for more money. full time is usually 12 credits for a undergrad.

    Under the topic of relationships I meant in not in terms of friends but significant others. The aspect that people would be able to spend time with each other while maintaining a courseload and work outside of class runs slim.

    I’ll admit that food on campuses can be cheaper than buying elseware..all you can eat for say $5-8 isn’t bad..however since there isn’t full kitchens for the most part it limits the chance of preparing your own food anyway. As for public transportation in the northeast at least schools are nearly always near a bus or rail line or both.

    Anyone should be able to transfer in a few years of another school. there’s nothing wrong with two year schools.

    You would be surprised as to what can have the same accreditations with education. Once you can find out what credits are taken it brings down walls

  34. solipsistnation says:

    Mm, just because I live in California now doesn’t mean that I’m unfamiliar with the East Coast, considering that I spent the last 17 years in Massachusetts, working for a 4-year tech school (not the ones that immediately comes to mind; the other one) and working with college students and so on. I am very familiar with what colleges require, and I can name several that, when I last checked, did not allow freshmen to live off-campus. That’s unusual for most 4-year schools.

    Also, when I said that if you’re biking everywhere you need health insurance, it’s because you’re likely to be hit by a car at some point. This is another thing that even the most careful bikers run into– there are some bad intersections in Santa Cruz, and everyone I know who bikes regularly has had at least a minor accident of some sort.

    Let me see… You say “The aspect that people would be able to spend time with each other while maintaining a courseload and work outside of class runs slim.” This is clearly false and a ridiculous assertion, although it depends on the school. MIT social lives tend to twist into strange shapes to fit themselves around the grueling coursework requirements, but they’re definitely the exception there.

    And as far as being close to rail lines, well, let me see. You COULD commute from, say, Grafton to Worcester State using rail lines and busses, but it wouldn’t be pleasant and if you don’t live close to the Grafton station you’d be out of luck. And if you lived in, say, Northboro it would be tougher. Or Barre or Gardner. There are places near Worcester that you can’t get to on public transportation at all.

    I lived in Worcester for 15 of the 17 years I was in MA. You might recall that the commuter rail only started running a few years ago, and intercity busses were (and still are) relatively expensive. Sure, you could take the Peter Pan to Boston, but that would cost you $20 round-trip… (I did it, and fairly often, because not only was I living in Worcester without a car, but I spent some time having relationships with young ladies at other colleges both closer to Boston and at UMass Amherst, so I’m familiar with both the state of public transportation AND one’s ability to have relationships in college.)

  35. rpm773 says:

    This is stupid. Why not just raise taxes to cover the increases?


  36. mdovell says:

    “I am very familiar with what colleges require, and I can name several that, when I last checked, did not allow freshmen to live off-campus. That’s unusual for most 4-year schools.”

    Ok so you agree with me then. But what if someone went to school part time? That wouldn’t make logical sense to mandate that for all freshman. I’m at the largest public college in Mass and as far as from what I understand freshman can commute but like I said earlier they cannot live on campus AND have a car. There frankly isn’t enough space for that and if they tried the traffic would be horrible.

    I found this to be interesting although it is down south


    From what I understand I would generally assume that residency for dorms would primarily go to those that are full time. As long as someone lives within the state and arrives on time for class I don’t see as to why the mileage would matter in this case.

    Actually the more I think about it this is a interesting topic it at itself.


    Just to note to be honest I found MIT to be a pretty open and friendly area when I visited it. It really is a nice place granted it is expensive.

    “Also, when I said that if you’re biking everywhere you need health insurance, it’s because you’re likely to be hit by a car at some point.”

    I understand what you mean I’ve personally seen someone hit by a car while on a bike and she didn’t live.

    “This is another thing that even the most careful bikers run into– there are some bad intersections in Santa Cruz, and everyone I know who bikes regularly has had at least a minor accident of some sort.”

    I’d say for the most part the USA is not well adapted for bikes. Yes there’s cities here and there but relative to say countries in Asia and there’s no comparison. Simply putting a mere six inches of space on either side of the road isn’t nearly enough space. I was in china and there was a whole lane we’re talking a good two meters wide. Of course I found out that bike lane can turn into a bus lane at the drop of a hat…that can you can see rickshaws cutting off tractor trailers….

    “This is clearly false and a ridiculous assertion, although it depends on the school. MIT social lives tend to twist into strange shapes to fit themselves around the grueling coursework requirements, but they’re definitely the exception there.”

    I’m not implying a social life. Some people enter college with the mindset that they’ll meet a future wife or husband or boyfriend or girlfriend etc. It’s not exactly an environment well suited for that. Upon graduation students leave to other areas of the country and planet. It’s like watching a game of billiards start with the breaking ball. I’m not doubting for a moment that there are clubs and activities. There is without question a very vibrant and healthy campus life in most colleges.

    “I lived in Worcester for 15 of the 17 years I was in MA. You might recall that the commuter rail only started running a few years ago, and intercity busses were (and still are) relatively expensive. Sure, you could take the Peter Pan to Boston, but that would cost you $20 round-trip… (I did it, and fairly often, because not only was I living in Worcester without a car, but I spent some time having relationships with young ladies at other colleges both closer to Boston and at UMass Amherst, so I’m familiar with both the state of public transportation AND one’s ability to have relationships in college.)”

    I think the massachusetts public transportation system works quite well. Is it always on time? No…is it always clean? No. But in terms of price it’s still cheaper than say NYC or Philly. I used the commuter rail every other day for a number of years and frankly they cannot collect fares from everyone. I also walked another 3.5 miles home after the stop so I know it isn’t totally connected to where people live. Two people collecting money on a train that can hold hundreds of people that has stops every 10-15 minutes… I’ve seen standing room only plenty of time. Even with the 2nd floor they put on it STILL is packed..

  37. SoCalGNX says:

    How many of these people will default on their student loans in the future or drag their heels paying them off?

  38. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    After the protest they all went to Starbucks and complained about the Teabaggers.

  39. muycaliente says:

    the problem with this is that if it originates in CA due to their “economic climate”….. other states will take this up and ultimately all universities nationwide may do this also….

    didn’t this happen in Venenzuela not too long ago?

  40. kryptonianjorel says:

    How can you be arrested for ” resisting arrest”? Don’t they need a reason to arrest you first…

  41. puckstopperga says:

    So this is what it takes for this generation to protest? The Iraq war wasn’t enough. The civil rights violations of LGBT people wasn’t enough. The genocides in Rwanda weren’t enough. But raise my tuition?

    Guess college still is very much a place for the super-privileged.

    • Coelacanth says:

      I’m sorry, I think Cal students protested all those things, too. Berkeley is known for its protesting.

  42. GaijenSoft says:

    It’s good to see San Fran going back to it’s roots. I think a few hundred of them should create a circle around the pentagon and “levitate” it, like the yippies did.

  43. notthere56 says:

    All you who complain about these students protesting should read about what COULD be done rather than cutting back on services to the people that actually pay for them. There are other ways to organize society. We don’t HAVE to have ever-increasing concentration of wealth. We don’t HAVE to have ever-increasing government debt to banks. Try or, without even leaving this site, []

  44. hk458 says:

    Just so people know the 32% increase amounts to $10,000 EXTRA!