For many students the California State University system was a relief compared to the tuition they would have to pay at a UC or private institution. However, this upcoming year due to the state budget cuts to the CSU, 10,000 qualified applicants will be turned away which could have long-term dire consequences for not only those students, but the state itself.
In fact, the California legislature allocated $215 million less than what the CSU system needs to cover the current increase in enrollment and expenses. Connie Llanos of the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the CSU system is expecting a midyear cut of $66.3 million, in addition to a trustee approved $31.3 million cut.
It’s one thing to turn away unqualified students, but to turn away 10,000 qualified students is an injustice. It’s an injustice to the students of the state to put up even more barriers.
What the CSUs have basically been forced to say to qualified students is that they don’t care if they meet the requirements because their campuses are full.
CSUN campus officials expect the total full-time student enrollment to decrease by 1,100, while the freshman class will see a decrease of 625 students.
With the economy the way it is, students were flocking to CSUs. In early October the CSU received almost 50,000 applications for fall 2009, up 21 percent from the same time last year. Transfer applications to CSUs are up 40 percent over previous years.
While they may never admit it, the state of California is indirectly stating that education is not a high priority. We all expected budget cuts, but to have to deny 10,000 students because of it is shameful and a huge slap to the face.
Many of us have gone through the California educational system since kindergarten up until high school. While I don’t expect a degree handed to me on a silver platter, for many high-school graduating seniors the budget cuts and the hurdles they cause will be a harsh welcoming to the real world.
The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education’s report ‘Measuring Up 2008’ found that college tuition and fees has increased by 439 percent.
The cost of tuition continues to exceed family income and the cost of other necessities, like medical care, food and housing, said the report, which foresees that if these trends continue higher education will be out of reach for most Americans.
The report also pointed out that those students who manage to get into a higher education institution would be graduating with even more debt since over the last decade student borrowing has more than doubled.
What about those of us who are currently enrolled at a CSU? We can expect packed classrooms, more than the ones we already have. This in turn will make it harder for students to graduate since they won’t be able to enroll in the classes they need and create a bigger pool of students.
Then the quality of the education we receive will decrease since there will be less qualified staff to deal with us students. I recall professors passing people in general education classes just to get them to graduate quicker, or because they were too lazy to grade all of the work. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of that in the not too distant future.
Faculty members shouldn’t depend on having a cost-of-living increase this year or the following either. Apart from having less faculty members the ones that are left will be overworked and unhappy. Is that what we really need?
State legislatures are concentrating too much on the present when the real factor they should be concentrating on is the future workforce of the state.’ We will have a larger percentage of a non-college educated workforce. As it is, a college degree is a lot like a GED. Then I’m sure many jobs will be out-sourced and further hurt the economy.