A Look at the Numbers Reveals
Why CA Students Are Upset

I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around the 32-percent increase in student fees for California’s public college students, as mentioned in the Los Angeles Times.

When I was at Indiana University in the mid-1980s, I think my out-of-state tuition was less than $1,000 a semester. Even if it was $1,000, a 32 percent increase would only have added $320 a semester to my bill.

If calculated over eight semesters, I would have graduated with $2,560 of debt instead of $300. Not great, but still quite manageable. (BTW, out-of-state tuition at IU is now $11,882 per semester, but only $3,194 for in-state residents.)

UCLA tuition runs for $8,266 a year for undergraduate state residents living off campus. A 32 percent increase will add $2,645 to the in-state annual bill or $10,580 to four years of college. The total four-year cost will now be $43,644.

But that’s where it gets ugly: out-of-state resident already pay $30,935 a year for tuition. The rate hike would presumably add $9,899 to the annual bill or $39,596.80 to the four-year total.

The total bill for out-of-state residents, not counting housing, room and board, etc., will be a whopping $163,336.80. No wonder those college kids are protesting.

With number like that, it looks like my kids will be going to Arizona universities unless they win some mighty big scholarships or we move back to whichever state they want to attend college.


I calculate that only 8.6 percent of the 26,687 undergraduate students pay out-of-state tuition, according to this chart I found, but the link doesn't seem to work. 

3 thoughts on “A Look at the Numbers Reveals
Why CA Students Are Upset

  1. Idaho Dad

    There are still many good values in public universities. Hopefully they’re still around in 7 years when my son’s ready for college. I would imagine more and more people will turn to community college for a year or two of undergrad classes. It will save money, but I think kids give up a little something in the “experience” of going away to school.


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