What if your university guaranteed that your tuition would not increase during your time there? Instead of raising its fees every year, the university would charge you the same amount for all four years. In California, voters may soon have the opportunity to institute just such a system.
A 24-year-old UC alumnus has begun gathering signatures for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would freeze undergraduate tuition at UC, Cal State and community colleges at the levels students paid when they first enrolled. Increases could occur with each incoming freshman group, the way many of the existing plans work in other states.
“It’s an unsettling and uncertain feeling when you think you are going to afford something and just skate by and suddenly somebody asks for more money you don’t have. You feel you are going to lose your investment. You feel you are going to lose your future,” said Christopher Campbell, the community college and UC Irvine graduate who is leading the effort. Tuition jumped substantially each of his three years at UC — totaling about 40% by 2011.
Critics say such pricing guarantees are marketing stunts that don’t solve the more serious problems of state funding cutbacks and runaway campus spending. They contend such plans benefit some students but increase tuition inflation for future students.
Would this bill help students by making costs more predictable? Would it unfairly pass current cost increases on to future students? What do you think?