Editor, Daily Nexus,
Regarding the article “A Few Reasons to Pay More,” by UC President Richard Atkinson (Daily Nexus, May 22, 2003), why not place the burden of offsetting additional educational costs onto nonresident tuition rates altogether? Why are we penalizing California students with an abominable fiscal mistake that our “illustrious” lawmakers made? The University of California system is still one of the best bargains in the world as far as quality and costs. Recent studies indicated that the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the best values in the public school system. The other UC schools did not lag far behind. When students from other states come to the UC system, they know they are getting a top-notch and world-acclaimed education, Nobel Prize-winning professors, great research facilities, a nice location, temperate climate, etc.
My modest proposal would be to greatly increase out-of-state tuition and keep the current rates for current in-state students. At the surface, it seems appropriate that the burden of maintaining the state institutions of learning be shared among all citizens, regardless of residential status. However, even with the current disproportionate amount out-of-state students pay, we can do better. We can tell incoming students from out-of-state that the days of the college bargain hunting just got tougher. Why are all those Ivy League/eastern universities and other private colleges able to charge so much tuition while the UC is relegated to public school rates even if it consistently provides this world-acclaimed education? It is high time UC schools become not only beacons of educational excellence but places where such education is prized and valued accordingly.