It isn’t news that California’s been hurting financially for a while now. While employment rates are improving and the budget deficit is recovering, the economy is still an issue. One area that is suffering due to the state of our economy is public education, especially at the university level. State-funded schools such as the Universities of California (UCs) and California State Universities (CSUs) are receiving less taxpayer money than ever, according to a study done by CSU Los Angeles.
“It’s a tough spot we’re in right now,” said UC Santa Barbara student Richard Park to JSR.
“It partly has to do with Governor Jerry Brown not appropriating enough money into the public school systems,” Park added, “but the simplest way to put it is: we’re broke.”
Because of these budget problems, state-funded schools are now accepting more out-of-state high school seniors due to the fact that students from outside of California pay a much larger tuition. Students are also being frightened off from UCs and CSUs because of the prospect of fewer and fewer scholarships and grants given out by these state-funded schools.
However, some are saying that these worries are unwarranted and based on exaggerated rumors put out by the panicked students and parents across the Golden State.
“I say this very confidently — all these rumors flying around about how the state of California doesn’t have enough money to provide for a reasonable amount in scholarships for the low-income household student are not grounded in fact,” stated Tricia Bryan, the college counselor at John Marshall High School, in an interview with JSR.
“A combination of Cal Grants, Pell Grants, Educational Opportunity Program Grants, work study, student loans, and other miscellaneous scholarships will be more than enough to cover tuition for all a student’s years of schooling,” she said.
In reality,the gossip and speculation isn’t really doing much to deter students, in-state and out-of-state alike, from applying to the UCs and CSUs. Last year, 170,000 students applied to UC Berkeley and UC Los Angeles alone, and that number is only projected to rise with increased recognition going to many of the UCs and Cal States as excellent institutions of learning.
“The bottom line is, prospective high school seniors should not be worrying about the face value cost of attending the colleges that are perfect for them. There’s always enough money in the education systems, be it private or public, for a student to attend without having to overly worry about monetary cost,” said Ms. Bryan.
She concluded, “Right now, students should be focusing on staying committed to school; getting the best grades they can get; writing detailed, honest, and excellent college applications; and preparing themselves for the life that is ahead of them in the college environment.”