Commentary

College in California: Still a Bargain

The big news today is that both California State University and the University of California will raise tuition fees. From the Sacramento Bee: The cost of a university degree for the more than 500,000 undergraduate students at the state’s public universities went up Wednesday. Fees will increase 10 percent this fall for students in the California State University system, rising to nearly $3,800 a year for undergraduate students. On University of California campuses, fees will climb 7.4 percent, bringing resident undergraduate fees to more than $8,000 a year. The Sacramento Bee notes that “Student fees in California remain among the lowest in the country compared with similar universities.” Rather be here than anywhere: according to the College Board : The average college tuition for 2007-2008 Private four-year $23,712 Public four-year $6,185 Cal. State is really a bargain at $3,800 and so is the UC system at $8,000 bucks–especially considering the prestige of UC schools.

Lisa Snell is the director of education and child welfare at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.

Snell has frequently testified before the California State Legislature and numerous other state legislatures and government agencies. She has authored policy studies on school finance and weighted student funding, universal preschool, school violence, charter schools, and child advocacy centers.

Snell is a frequent contributor to Reason magazine, School Reform News and Privatization Watch. Her writing has also appeared in Education Week, Edutopia, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications.

Ms. Snell is also an advisory board member to the National Quality Improvement Center for the Children's Bureau; is on the charter school accreditation team for the American Academy for Liberal Education; and serves as a board member for the California Virtual Academy.

Before joining Reason Foundation, Snell taught public speaking and argumentation courses at California State University, Fullerton. She earned a Master of Arts in communication from California State University, Fullerton.