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Tuition Hikes for 2010 - 2011 Academic Year

By Trung Le
College Admission Consultant

The University of California

The University of California will increase its fees for undergraduates students by 15% or $1,334 next Fall according to their web site to make up for the lack of funding in higher education as a result of California's financial crisis. The UC system had already increased fees by $585 in January of this year. Total estimated cost for California residents for this previous year was $26,985 for students living on campus and $24,885 for those living off campus. Total estimated cost for the 2010 - 2011 academic year will be $28,002 for California residents residing on campus and $25,902 for those living off campus, which includes the tuition rate of $10,302. The good news is that the University of California has a fee waiver called the "blue and gold opportunity program" for admitted students with a family income of less than $70,000 per year. However, the cost of a college education even with the fee waiver is still relatively expensive, with a remaining expense rate of approximately $17,700 for students residing on campus and $15,600 for those residing off campus.


University of California 2010 - 2011 Fees, Estimated Average Cost for California Residents
  Living on campus Living off campus
Fees $10,302* $10,302*
Books and Supplies $1,500 $1,600
Health Insurance Allowance / Fee $1,000 $1,000
Room and Board $12,600 $9,700
Personal / Transportation $2,600 $3,300
TOTAL $10,302* $10,302*
*Source: LA Times, September 11, 2009    


The California State University

The California State University tuition was $4,026 for students enrolling in 6.1 units or more during this previous academic year. Credential programs and graduate and other post-baccalaureate programs are not that far off, with tuition rates of $4,674 and $4,962 respectively.

A 5% fee increased is being proposed this summer by the CSU trustees. If fees were to increase by 5%, full-time undergraduate students would be paying $4,230 for the 2010 - 2011 academic year. Students enrolled in credential programs would pay $4,908 and those in graduate and post-baccalaureate programs would pay $5,210. Those attending the CSU over the UC will save roughly 50% in academic related fees. The drawback of attending the CSU is its lack of prestige over the UC system. The primary reason for this is because the CSU system is not considered a research institution. The top talents, researchers, scholars, and Ph.D. programs reside at the UC system. Therefore, it is not advisable for parents to send their child to the CSU over the UC just to save money because long-term opportunities after graduation may diminish from the lack of prestige.


California State University 2010 - 2011 Fees
Student Type / Units   With 5% Increase
Undergraduate Program    
6.1 or more   $4,230
0 to 6.0   $2,451
Credential Programs   $4,908
6.1 or more   $2,848
0 to 6.0    
Graduate and Other Post-Baccalaureate Programs    
6.1 or more   $5,210
0 to 6.0   $3,024


The California Community College

If parents want the best of both worlds, they can send their child to a local community college, with an unbeatable tuition rate of only $26 per unit. Community college students can then transfer to prestigious universities within the UC system. Among the top campuses in California are Davis, Berkeley, San Diego, Irvine, and Los Angeles. Most community colleges have transfer agreements with the majority of the campus, with the exception of Berkeley and Los Angeles, the most prestigious out of the entire system. A transfer agreement guarantees students admission upon successful completion of transfer requirements, major requirements, and GPA requirements.

Tuition at the community college for 30 units for the year (15 units per semester) only comes out to be $780. Estimated cost of books and supplies is $1,620, with a grand total of $2,400. This comes out to be only $4,800 for the first two years of college, the time when students fulfill their general education requirements before transferring to a four-year college. Parents should note that it may take an additional year or two to complete all undergraduate requirements depending on the specific major.

Compared to the CSU and the UC, community college students will save $3,450 and $9,522 respectively each academic year in tuition alone for a full course load of 30 units each year. This equates to a savings of $6,900 if attending the CSU and $19,044 if attending the UC during the first two years. Parents will save even more money when factoring in the cost for housing and food, which are required if their child moves away to attend one of the campuses belonging to the UC system, estimated to be at $9,700 per year or $19,400 for the first two years of college. Therefore, parents sending their children to the community college system for the first two years will save a substantial amount of money - an estimated amount of $38,444 in tuition, room, and board if their child lives at home and attends a local community college. He or she can then transfer to the University of California by signing the transfer agreement, also known as a TAG agreement.


California Community College Estimated Total Fees 2010 - 2011
  Per Semester Academic Year
Tuition for 15 units ($26 / unit) $390 $780
$780 $810 $1,620
Total $1,200 $2,451


About T. Le

Mr. Le is a college philosophy instructor who helps students to achieve academic success and helps them realize their potential in life. He was educated at San Jose State University and at the University of California at Berkeley, and has taught philosophy at San Jose State University, CA, De Anza College in Cupertino, CA, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA, and San Jose City College, CA. He is the founder of Bay Area College Consulting.



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