Out here on the West Coast, I know parents who believe that their children will be condemned to mediocre lives if the University of California, Berkeley, doesn’t send them an acceptance letter.
Okay, it might not be that bad, but plenty of parents and teens believe that getting into UC Berkeley is the ultimate academic achievement for a teenager. Unfortunately, I have bad news for all those parents: it’s going to get even harder for teenagers to finagle their way into Cal Berkeley.
As anyone in California knows, the UC system is in a crisis. Government support has shrunk alarmingly over the years. The state used to provide 70% of Berkeley’s budget and now it’s down to 25%.
Something has to give. Because UC Berkeley can’t raise tuition as much as it would like, Cal is going to accept more out-of-state and international students, who pay a heck of a lot more. About 11% of students from this year’s entering class aren’t from California and they are paying tuition and fees of $32,400 versus $9,750 for kids who live here.
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau isn’t happy admitting more non-Californians and it seems like he’s hoping parents and students revolt. “Actually, I hope for some push back,” he told reporters. “This is connected to the state’s failure to pay for the University of California.”
I’d suggest that it’s more important than ever that students, who are hoping to go Cal Berkeley, possess a back up plan.
Further posts on the University of California:
Public University Bargains for Affluent Students.