Shrinking State Colleges With Slashed Budgets Lead Nation in Tuition Hikes

Friday, June 15, 2012
(photo: Reed Saxon/Associated Press)

As California slashes away at its public support for higher education, its four-year colleges continue to dominate the nation in tuition increases. A database unveiled by the U.S. Department of Education reveals a list of schools boasting the largest tuition increases littered with California institutions.

Seven University of California campuses led by campuses at Berkeley and Los Angeles, are among the list’s top 5%, with tuition increases averaging 40 to 43% between 2009 and 2011.  Three CalState schools make the list, led by the Long Beach campus at 42%. The national average among responding schools was 15%, with University of the District of Columbia at the top (123%), followed by Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico (75%) and Lake Washington Technical College (64%).   

The Department of Education list is not inclusive; it only has results from the 4,165 public and private schools, 2-year and 4-year, that responded to its survey.

The state chopped $750 million out the University of California budget so far this year and could round that off to a cool billion if Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative fails in November, while the UC Regents are reportedly pondering a 6% increase. California ranked No. 1 in annual tuition increases, 21%, in a Fall 2011 report by the nonprofit College Board. The state enrolls a tenth of the nation’s four-year public school students.  

Needless to say, none of the California schools made the list of institutions with low tuition but a half dozen in the CalState system did make the list of lowest net prices in the country. Net price is the cost of attendance minus grant and scholarship aid.  

-Ken Broder


To Learn More:

California Leads Nation in Escalation of College Costs (by Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times)

Facing New Cuts, California's Colleges Are Shrinking Their Enrollments (by Josh Keller, Chronicle of Higher Education)

State's College Tuition Rising Fastest in Nation (by Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle)

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