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Report: CA offers a good deal for public education

March 9, 2010 7:20:19 PM PST
The rising cost of a public education is certainly not easy to take for college students and their parents. But it may not be as bad a deal as it appears. A new report says that California compares favorably to the rest of the country.

Thousands of students across California protested at rallies statewide against years of budget cuts to public education.

The cuts often led to higher tuition at Cal State and UC. But now, a new report by the California Postsecondary Education Commission shows college in this state is relatively a bargain.

"Although fees have gone up a lot lately, our fees are still lower than fees at public universities in other states," Adrian Griffin from the California Postsecondary Education Commission said.

Illinois State broke the five-figure barrier with tuition more than $10,000. Western schools like ASU Tempe and University of Colorado at Denver were in the $6,000 a year range, while CSU tuition was in line with colleges like the University of Nevada Reno at just under $5,000 a year.

For schools comparable to UC, University of Illinois and University of Michigan ranked highest at $12,000 a year.

University of Virginia and UC were close to breaking the $10,000 mark. The best deal on the list is the University of New York at Buffalo at only $7,000 a year.

Students point out the study didn't look at the total cost of going to college.

"It's still pretty expensive when you compare the cost of living in California compared to, say, Texas. Their tuition is a lot higher. But the cost of living is so much lower," CSU student Mitchell Wilson said.

And some of those student protestors say they can't get the classes they want. So they end up going to school longer and paying even more tuition to graduate.

"I'm $40,000 in debt. I had to like take out $7,500 extra dollars to pay for this year alone. That's $7,500 I otherwise wouldn't have had to have taken out," fifth year CSU senior Robert Graham said.

A 15 percent increase has been approved for UC, while a 10 percent hike is pending at CSU. Even then, California will still rank near the bottom when compared to other states.


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