California Universities Get Budget Increase – with Strings Attached

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Governor Jerry Brown’s budget plan for the coming fiscal year continues a commitment to increase state money going to the University of California and the State University systems. Each will get an increase of $142 million.

But the money comes with a provision that tuition will remain static after doubling over a five year span beginning in 2007.

UC tuition is around $12,000 a year and about $5,500 at the State Universities.  Brown said at his budget news conference that families are burdened because that state colleges aren’t doing a good enough job of graduating students fast enough.

“We went from four years for free to around six years and expensive,” said Brown.

UC Davis student Tommy Garcia coudn’t agree more.

“As an engineer I have to take a lot of classes and I haven’t been able to get them so I have to stay five years and pay five years of tuition,” said Garcia.

That doesn’t include food and housing.  Others say community college transfers could graduate earlier if they had mandatory support from counselors to help them navigate through class requirements. The governor wants schools to be more flexible with their teaching, perhaps use online classes, or do what it takes to get students get their degrees faster.

The governor hopes that his influence over budget allocations to the universities will help him with reforms.

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