Endless Tuition Hikes - At What Point is a Great Education Not Worth It?

Jasmine Segall's picture

   The September 24, 2009 walk-out on UC campuses appeared to be the last big student push for affordable education. As fees kept rising, the strength and organization of student protests fell proportionally - an inverse relationship in which students were growing more disillusioned and apathetic as tuition skyrocketed. I know the last protest in March at UC Berkeley seemed pathetic and disorganized in comparison to the 1000‘s that marched in the September 24th walk-outs - with 8 protesters sitting on top of Wheeler Hall and maybe 30 sitting on the Wheeler steps at any one time that day. The other 200 students were just onlookers - watching, and wishing that maybe some good would come out of the protest...
   Which it didn’t. According to an article by the Huffington Post, tuition at UC Berkeley has increased nearly 20% over the course of a year.
   This complaint is too common, and made often. But Governor Brown’s budget of an additional 500 million in cuts to the UC system is worsening the quality of higher education, as well as making it almost unattainable for middle class students, and it hurts. It hurts to not be able to sign up for classes on US-China relations that I need to complete my major because they’re either only offered one semester, or not even offered any more; it hurts to have to flight for every penny of club funding and to know that once CalTV cameras break, they’re impossible to repair; and it hurts that even with academic scholarships, tuition is becoming more and more difficult to afford.  
   Is it better to take a few years off to work just to afford tuition? Is a bachelor’s degree really worth much in the job market anymore? At what point is a “great” education not worth it?

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137