For students in the California Public University, graduating on time can be tough. Tuition hikes, added fees, and a lack of available classes create roadblocks to attaining the education we need (and pay for). In fact, only 16% of CSU students graduate in 4 years.
And why is that percentage so low? In a survey of over 2,800 students, we found that 50% delayed because they can’t get the classes they need.
So it would follow that a solution to increasing graduation rates would be to provide more classes. However Governor Jerry Brown’s new budget proposal is taking a much more drastic approach.
According to the proposal, Jerry Brown is seeking to make students graduate in 5 years by charging students “the full cost of tuition” if they exceed certain unit caps. And what exactly does “the full cost of tuition” mean? Essentially that California residents will be charged at the same rate as an out of state student once they exceed these unit caps.
In Fall of 2013, students will be capped at 180 semester or 270 quarter units. In Fall of 2015, students will be capped at 150 semester or 225 quarter units, equal to about 5 years of education. Community College students will be equally effected, capped out at only 90 semester units.
How drastic is this difference? A student who took 24 units in a year would only pay about $5,472 in tuition. But an out of state student would pay $14,400, nearly 3 times the cost of in state tuition.
What kind of students would be affected by this?
- Students who, unable to get the classes they need, took others in order to stay enrolled, keep financial aid, campus housing etc.
- Students who transferred in with too many units from the community college system
- Students who’ve changed their major
- Students who’ve double majored or minored
- Students who took a major with high unit requirements (more than standard 120)
- Students who’ve had to take several pre-requisite courses to take major courses
Considering how many students fit any number of the above situations, it’s clear that this proposal places unfair blame on us instead of addressing the root of the problem, that the system is set up in a way that keeps students from graduating on time.
The fact is students WANT to graduate. We DON’T want to rack up more debt. Instead of motivating us to graduate on time, this cap will only make it more difficult. Many students simply won’t be able to afford these increases and will be forced to instead drop out, a loss of investment for both students and the state as a whole.
Brown’s proposal places a cap on our education, it disinvests in students, and it creates incentives for students to drop out, rather than graduate.
Join us in sharing why you are against the education cap by tweeting either how this would affect you or why you’re against the measure to #cappedout