The Value vs. The Cost of the University of California

UC_SealRecently, Janet Napolitano, current UC President, explained her view of the 190% tuition increase over the last decade, and how the UC system is trying to address cost issues for family:

Until about seven or eight years ago, the state paid [more] and the university [through tuition] less. Now the percentages have almost totally flipped, so students now bear more of the cost [for running UC] than the state does. That’s an astounding thing for a public university.

I don’t think we can expect the state [share] to go back to where it was. We have to look at philanthropy, alumni giving, the private sector, whether we can be more entrepreneurial.

Even with the rise in tuition, a record number of applications were received by the UC system – 183,872 applications for Freshman admissions alone – indicating that despite the triple digit percentage increase, students are still valuing a UC education.  Cost is a single factor in a complex set of factors to determine the value of a college education. However, according to a recent Gallup poll, with 4 out of 10 Americans worried about paying off debt, and half of all 18-29 year olds worried about paying off debt cost may rise in importance in choosing a college for admissions.

For more about Janet Napolitano’s outlook on the UC, see the Los Angeles Times.

Note: Current tuition for the University of California is $13,200 for the 2013-14 school year.  On top of the $13,2000 tuition, each individual UC campus also adds student fees that can vary up to several thousand dollars more per year.