San Jose State should support local access2 min read

EDITORIAL

La Voz Editorial Board

This has been a fantastic start to 2012, education wise. 

The old definition of fantastic, as in: incredible, imaginary, or bizarre. 

First, our Board of Governors passed the Student Success Task Force without a dissenting vote. Then Governor Jerry Brown’s trigger cuts were implemented, adding additional burdens to an already underfunded education system. For the first time ever, California State University and University of California students attended March in March, the yearly march to the state capital by California community college students to keep the state’s community colleges funded. A sign that the state’s entire higher education system is running on fumes. 

Now, San Jose State University is preparing to change its admissions requirements for local students. No longer will SJSU accept local students with lower GPAs than those applying from other counties. 

La Voz supports this move by SJSU, as there is not, and has never been, a good reason to ever lower academic standards. We do not, however, support any act that restricts access of a CSU’s local student pool to that institute of higher education.

We believe that CSUs have a duty to educate their local population first, even at the cost of other Californians and out of state/international students.

No one should be forced to undertake the costly, and sometimes prohibitive, expenditures of relocation to obtain a higher education because they were not accepted by their local CSU. To demand students from Cupertino attend San Francisco State, making the two-hour commute every day, or paying the outrageous rental prices of the city rather than bound down Interstate 280 from their home to San Jose State because equally successful students from Foster City took their spots, is unacceptable.

CSUs should never see students as dollar figures, either for the financial benefit of the school or to fill a budget shortfall. Institutes of higher education, and CSUs especially, should remain in the business of education, not the education business.

Raising admission standards is a great step in returning California to its education master plan and restoring the prestige and value of a bachelor’s degree. But it must not remove the incentives to educate the local population. 

Priority acceptance of local students, a limited number of guaranteed slots for local students or another form of incentivization should be required in conjunction with this change.

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