The Boiling Point

State school tuition hikes affect Shalhevet grads

www.ucla.edu

Zev Hurwitz, Editor-In-Chief

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Amidst another wave of state budget cuts, the University of California (UC) system announced last fall that tuition at its nine campuses would increase by 8 percent for the 2011-12 school year.

According to a Nov. 17 posting by the UC Board of Regents, an average additional $822 will be tacked on to tuition at each school beginning next fall (http://tinyurl.com/BP-UCfees), meaning that the price of a year at an average UC campus will be over $11,000, excluding room and board.

UC schools have always been popular with Shalhevet students, because in addition to substantial academic prestige at most campuses, in-state tuition is considerably lower than at out-of-state or private schools.

For example, a California resident would pay just over $11,000 in tuition fee at the 24,000- student UC San Diego, but nearly double that at the similarly sized University of Maryland at College Park (click here for more details). The same student would have to cough up $36,000 just for tuition at New York University, which also boasts over 23,000 enrolled students.

Despite an increase of nearly $1000, UC schools are still a bargain next to comparable schools.

“The price difference means everything to me,” senior Rachel Lesel said. “I want to go to Brandeis but the UC’s are way cheaper. Why waste that much money for undergraduate school when I can get a similar education for a lot less. “ According to Naviance, the internet-based college application management program, Shalhevet seniors have sent out 397 applications to the nine UC schools since 2006, with UCLA being the most popular

Between 2006 and 2010, 75 applied to UCLA alone; another 16 have applied from this year’s senior class. In that time period, 29 Shalhevet alumni enrolled in UC schools; six at UCLA. (These figures do not include alumni who transferred from community colleges.)

This year, 88 applications were sent by current Shalhevet seniors to UC schools. Admissions decisions for this year’s seniors are expected late next month.

Those who matriculate will be subject to the 2011 Increases and possibly more, if California’s economic situation worsens. The newest price rise follows several years of increases, including a 9.3 percent jump in 2009.

But the Regents said that this year’s increase will take effect alongside increased financial aid for middle and lower class students.

“The university will provide financial aid-eligible California resident students with family incomes below $120,000 grants to cover the 2011 fee increase,” the Regents posted in their announcement.

They estimated that with the new aid, 55 percent of students will be unaffected by the latest tuition jump. The average UC tuition, excluding room and board will be  $11,124.

Director of College Counseling Dr. Steven Mercer said the increased tuition was set to counteract severe cuts in this year’s state budget.

“If the current budget proposal passes, we can expect $500 million in cuts for both the UC’s and Cal State schools,” said Dr. Mercer. “It’s a terrible situation.”

Shalhevet alumus Mark Rad ’09, now in his sophomore year at UC Santa Cruz, said he had been personally affected by both the cuts and the tuition hike.

“Many of my friends I made last year elected to not return for sophomore year,” said Mark. “Entire majors, like Community sSudies, were canceled, and many work-study jobs disappeared. Employees were fired, and research grants were cut. Sometimes it’s hard to get the classes I need because many classes got canceled. Really, it’s all a bit sad.”

Elana Eden ’09, a freshman at UC Berkeley, said students there have been up in arms about the increases, even mass-occupying campus buildings in protest.

“There was a pretty big demonstration this year, but from what I’ve heard, it wasn’t nearly as big as last year’s,” said Elana. “I know they occupied a library for about a day and there’s a lot of graffiti left over about the UC mismanaging money and undervaluing public education. There might be another demonstration this semester.”

One alternative to paying four years at the new rate would be to transfer to UC after spending two years at a community college such as Santa Monica College. Tuition at SMC is a mere $20 per credit and a successful transfer will have a degree from the same higher level institution.

But the escape would not be complete.

“Community colleges are also getting hit with budget cuts,” said Dr. Mercer, referencing $400 million in expected cuts to two-year junior colleges statewide. “Students looking to transfer to four-year schools will suffer from lost student services and courses.”

Meanwhile, other significant news for the UC system emerged last month in the Los Angeles Times regarding UC’s new use of “holistic review” when making admission decisions (http://tinyurl.com/BPAdmissions). Holistic review involves mandatory assessment of an applicant’s entire application before a decision is reached.

This means that while grades and scores will still be a priority on applications, other application components such as activities and special circumstances will have more weight.

“The new review system is similar to that already used at many colleges,” Dr. Mercer said. “It certainly benefits all applicants because it’s a more objective approach.”

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Meet the Writer
Zev Hurwitz, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

After serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Boiling Point in 2010-11 school year, Zev went on to UC San Diego where he was Editor-in-Chief of the campus paper, The Guardian.  He is currently the Goldman Bridge ACCESS Fellow of the American Jewish Committee in Los Angeles.

At the Boiling Point, Zev served as Opinion Editor and Torah Editor before taking over as EIC.  He played varsity basketball at Shalhevet and also served as chair of the Just Community's Constructive Consequences Committee.



 

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State school tuition hikes affect Shalhevet grads