Prompt: In your opinion, how do tuition increases and increased out-of-state & international students affect diversity on campus? Do you support these increases? Why or why not?
I have mixed feelings whenever the issue of tuition increases for the UC campuses is brought up. I can see how the leaders of the UC campuses feel trapped within a vortex with no other solution other than to increase tuition in order to deal with budget cuts, but on the other hand I can’t help but question if there were any other alternatives available? According to the Los Angeles Times, “University of California students could face annual tuition increases of 8% to 16% over the next four years, possibly bringing the fee as high as $22,068 for the 2015-16 school year.” As a student currently experiencing these fee hikes, I can’t help but feel bitter towards someone for the strain that all students are feeling. I try to keep an optimistic mind and hope that the leaders of the UC’s really are doing everything they can to help their students rather than working on their own personal agenda. That’s why although I don’t support tuition increases, I do agree that reaching out to nonresident and international students can help alleviate the burden the campus feels financially.
However, this strategy also brings up the issue of whether or not it would affect the diversity on campus. Most minority students come from mid-to-low income families that struggle every year due to tuition increases and sometimes have to drop out due to financial difficulties. I believe that tuition increases combined with reaching out to nonresident students would have an indirect affect on diversity, as it would discourage students of color from struggling families to attend a university while encouraging wealthier out of state students to come to a renounced university. Of course, I am generalizing the UCLA population, but just by looking at the current demographics of the student population (36% Asian, 31% White or Non-Hispanic, 16% Hispanic, 4% Black, less than 1% American Indian, and 8% international), one can get a sense of the lack of diversity that can be found on campus.
Another issue that is brought up is the increasing amount of students being accepted every year. More students means more money being paid to the school, but this directly affects student performance because now students are forced to aggressively compete to get into the classes they need to, as well as fight for any resources on campus. In the Daily Bruin’s article “UCLA seeks to increase revenue from nonresident tuition by recruiting out-of-state and international students,” UCLA’s dean and vice provost of education, Judith Smith stated that “having students who have a much different upbringing, regardless of their race and ethnicity, provides … different points of view.” But she also agreed that “as UCLA accepts more nonresident students, more programs and resources to support international students will be needed.” I completely agree that having nonresident and international students will only benefit the diversity on campus, but when the incoming freshman class numbers too many that it starts affecting the quality of education for all the students, I draw the line.
UCLA should focus on recruiting nonresident students without overwhelming the current student population with the huge influx of new students every year. Hopefully, we will have better solutions than increasing tuition in the near future to address the budget cuts to education, but reaching out to nonresident and international students is a start.
Post submitted by Lauren