UCs Face Budget Cuts

Jeremy Unger

As Miramonte seniors finish up their college applications, the economic recession is making it harder and harder to get into and pay for college, especially in California. Both the University of California (UC) and (California State University CSU) systems are raising tuition costs and limiting the number of spots given to California residents.

“They (the UCs and CSUs) are doing what they need to do to,” said counselor Lois Halls.

“But these cuts are really tough on our kids.”

The CSU system will increase both in and out of state tuition as well as cut the amount of students admitted. In state student tuition will rise from approximately 3,354 dollars to 4, 827 dollars, and the system plans to enroll 40,000 less students in the fall of 2010.

The UC system will raise tuition costs by 32 percent for fall 2010 so that the average cost for full tuition and housing to nearly 28,000 dollars, up from about 25,000 dollars. The UC’s will also be letting in more out-of-state students next year because of the extra costs they pay for being out-of-state.

“At first you might think that this is bad for in-state students, but the higher tuition that out-of-state students pay will keep education programs and teachers from being cut,” said Halls.

Both the CSU’s and UC’s received record numbers of applications this year, and many Miramonte students are angry that their chances of admission are being reduced because of financial cuts.

“This is really unfair. We pay for the UCs and CSUs with our tax money and now they are reducing our chances of getting in,” said senior Alex Weiss.

In order to increase the chances of getting admitted, many Orinda parents are hiring private counselors to help their children with the admission process. Joanne Levy-Prewitt, a counselor and former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, believes that many Miramonte students are having difficulty completing all of their applications.

“Students who are looking for specific programs or majors, have special needs, or who want to venture beyond California can benefit from the help of a private adviser,” said Levy-Prewitt.

“But I am just one member of a team that should include teachers, high school counselors and parents.”

Levy-Prewitt foresees a future where many California students leave the state for college.

“I’m concerned that our best and brightest students who might be locked out of the UC system will leave the state permanently, resulting in a “brain drain” of local talent,” said Levy-Prewitt.