Bill could allow students to graduate from UC or CSUs in three years, spend less

Two proposed assembly bills could allow students with interests in science, technology, math and engineering attend either a California State University or a University of California for a lower cost.

Assemblyman Dan Logue created AB51 and AB181 with hopes to allow more students the opportunity to attend college without finances prohibiting them.

Logue said he proposed the bills because there is a real concern of students future employment and it is costing the country money.

“We want to create an opportunity for students to accelerate their ability,” he said.

Both bills establish a Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Program that would include campuses of the CSU and UC systems, community college districts and county offices of education in three areas of the state.

AB51 and AB181 will expedite the progress of participating students from high school to community college to CSUs or UCs.

Logue said both bills will allow students to graduate from either a CSU or UC in three years compared to the average student who would graduate in five to six years.

“High school students can get up to 30 college credits, one year in junior college and two in a state college,” Logue said. “The bills financially work if students take college courses in high school because it cuts their tuition by 25 percent.”

He also said the standards will be very high and students must have a B average to stay in the courses, and if they excel, they get priority registration.

According to leginfo webpage, the AB 51 bill allows students to earn a baccalaureate degree from any participating CSU for a total cost not exceeding $10,000, including textbooks.

“The cost of a four year college is $24,000 so we cut it by less than half,” he said. “Sacramento State costs  6,000 and UC Davis is 13,000 a year.”

According to a legtrack webpage, AB181 would allow students to earn a baccalaureate degree from any participating UC for a total cost that does not exceed $20,000, excluding the cost of instructional materials and campus-based fees.

Logue said both bills will allow participating high school students to earn an unlimited number of advanced placement course credits.

He also said CSUs and UCs must accept a minimum of 60 semester units earned by students.

Logue said after graduation most students cannot buy a house because they usually graduate with $60,000 to $100,000 in student loan debt.

Logue said if this program works they can expand it to other fields.

“The bottom line is that many students may graduate from college with no job,” he said. “Canada and Latin American have a program established and America is behind.”

The bills will be introduced in January 2014. Logue said since he was in college, campuses have doubled in tuition prices.

“When I was in college there was no internet and tuition was $400 a year,” he said. “State colleges have doubled, and it’s unacceptable.”