5 percent a year UC tuition hike a sad but necessary evil

Harold Shi, Staff Writer

The University of California Board of Regents approved Thursday, a 5 percent tuition increase per year for the next five years, total of 25 percent.

This tuition increase is necessary. You heard that right, a college student like myself, already struggling to pay off his bills and maintain his own financial freedom, is supporting a tuition hike.

It would be wrong, almost sacrilegious for me, a student and believer in the idea of an affordable public education for all, not to argue and raise my hands up in protest against any plan that increases the price of college for my fellow classmates and myself.

But when we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, we begin to see the facts more clearly.

The fact is, the UC system has been increasing enrollment steadily through the years, opening its door sto more and more qualified students. As enrollment numbers increase, the level of funding given both by the state and the federal government to the UC system has been decreasing.

The rising demand for a college education, coupled with the economic turbulence felt in recent years, means the money must come from somewhere. Quite simply, that money must come from us.

If we choose to not pay more, and if the state refuses to increase funding for public education, then budget cuts will have to be disbursed across every part of the system, leading to fewer and fewer students that can be enrolled and diminishing the rate of return on the quality of faculty and teaching staff.

The result would be a drastic drop in the level of excellence and the quality of education the world-renowned institution has been known to provide.

Of course, there must also be a call for transparency in the way the UC system has been managing its funds. We have to make sure this new money is going to classes and programs that benefit students.

We must trust our public officials to perform their duty of allocating our money in a way that is both innovative and efficient, while taking all possible measures to not cut corners and to not excessively spend.

As students and the primary financial stakeholders of the UC system, we have a duty to uphold as well, a duty that goes beyond joining Facebook groups and attending walk-in demonstrations without knowing what the facts are and where the money’s going.

Students, you get what you pay for.