This weekend we’ll pack up the family and trot over to the UC Davis Picnic Day to enjoy all the festivities from pancake breakfast to the battle of the bands. As a graduate of UCD I use to look forward to going back to the campus to see how it has changed. While I was hoping my son would apply to the UC system, I am not sure it will even be affordable or accessible to him in 3 short years from now when he graduates high school.
Last year it was reported that UC Davis was looking to increase their enrollment of out-of-state and foreign students by a sizeable margin. The latest report shows that all the UC systems are looking to push non-resident enrollment to the maximum allowable of 10%. The primary reason is the higher tuition non-residents pay. All of sudden, the UC system has woken up and has decided to run the universities like a business.
With the State of California bleeding red ink, the UC system, which has received its share of budget cuts, is looking for additional revenue. The revenue from non-resident students comes at the expense of in-state students trying to gain admittance. When you combine their escalating fees with dwindling enrollment slots, you wonder if the dream of a college education for your children is gone.
I understand that we can’t keep college fees low forever. But when the fees increase far faster than the college fund you established for your children when they were born, you get a little depressed.
I have heard the familiar refrain, “Your son will get a job. It’s good for his character to work through college. He’ll appreciate it more.” To that sentiment I say…well I can’t write what I am thinking. I worked through college and it sucked. Fours years turned into eight and I got tired of living in poverty. I don’t think it is unreasonable for me to have hoped to help my son get his undergraduate degree without the hell I experienced.
So we’ll go to the Alumni Pancake Breakfast at Freeborn Hall and listen to the obligatory speech by Chancellor Katehi. I am sure she will tell us all the wonderful things UCD has accomplished this past year and what we have to look forward to. I doubt that she will realize that her decisions to increase fees and suppress resident admissions may mean that the young man sitting next to me, my son, may never be able to experience her “Vision” for UC Davis.