The article excerpted below is further confirmation of the accelerating trend among public universities to differentiate tuition rates by degree program by assigning higher rates to high-demand programs, primarily programs serving lucrative professions such as business, law, engineering, and so on. This trend may lock out worthy but financially disadvantaged students from the high-tuition professions. This may not be a significant issue for well endowed flagship universities whose high-demand professional schools are themselves typically well endowed. It will, however, compromise most other public universities' obligation to maintain affordable access to professional programs for all academically qualified students, including those from the lower rungs of the economic ladder.
Regents approve major fee hikes for 34 UC programs. The 3-year increases will push the annual cost at certain business and law schools to $40,000.
Richard C. Paddock, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 21, 2007
The University of California Board of Regents approved a three-year plan Thursday for major fee increases at 34 professional schools that would push the cost of some law and business schools to $40,000 a year by 2010. The increases will take effect next year and range from about 7% at most of the schools to a high of 15% at UC Berkeley's law and business schools. The board voted to enact similar raises in the following two years but agreed that it would ratify them separately each year. Advocates of the plan, including Christopher Edley Jr., dean of the Boalt Hall School of Law at Berkeley, said the increased fees would help the school maintain its excellence and attract some of the best professors and students. "I can't overstate how critical this was for our future," Edley said after the vote. "I agree completely with the desire for more state funding. But the political reality is that California has been reducing money for K-12 and higher education for a generation." Read more ...