Tuition hikes to hit colleges

March 3, 2008 9:13:12 PM PST
The cost of college is about to go up again, to a level that many middle income families say they simply can't afford.

UC students from all 10 campuses went to Sacramento Monday for what's become an annual pilgrimage to protest fee hikes. This year's theme, on a very sunny day: 'It's raining debt' and students wore ponchos to make that point.

Juanita Price is a junior at UC Riverside aspiring to be a civil rights attorney. She already borrowed $39,000 dollars for her education.

"I'm very upset because I plan to be in school for a long time, and I don't know if I can afford to do that," said Price.

Though fee hikes are ultimately approved by the Board of Regents, the Governor's proposed budget counts on a tuition increase of more than seven percent, from an average of over $6,600 dollars a year to more than $7,100 dollars -- nearly doubling tuition over the last seven years.

"It's raining debt. Students are drowning in debt," said Daniel Montes, a senior at UC Berkeley.

The Governor's office insists everyone must chip in during these tough economic times.

"We're as upset as the students are. We don't want to do this. We want to increase as much as possible the amount they're getting," says Aaron McLear, the Governor's press secretary.

On the heels of possible tuition hikes, there's news from lenders and Wall Street firms about how student loans are becoming more expensive.

The credit crunch from the foreclosure fallout could make it harder to find deals on federally guaranteed loan programs, which makes parents wonder about their kids' futures.

"What is our option? What are parents supposed to do? What is our option for providing funding for our kids to get to school? I don't know," says parent Debbie Prusinkovski.

Neither does Juanita Price.

"I think California needs to invest in intellectual infrastructure and that's students," says Price.


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