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Student Debt Increasing At San Diego Schools

Aired 11/14/11 on KPBS News.

Across the country, 2010’s college graduates left school owing about 5 percent more than the class before them. San Diego’s public university students saw their debt increase at about the same rate.

— Students graduating from San Diego State University in 2010 with debt owed about $15,500 a piece, 5 percent more than the class of 2009. Those graduating from UC San Diego with loans to repay owed more than $18,700, 6 percent more than the class ahead of them.

Students gather at the Price Center located in the center of the UCSD campus.
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Above: Students gather at the Price Center located in the center of the UCSD campus.

Californians appeared better off than those in other states. Average debt here was just over $18,000 compared with more than $25,000 nationally.

But Patricia Gandara, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, said those numbers have to be considered in the context of California’s economy and who attends the state’s schools.

“Among the Latino population -- which now is the majority population in the schools in this state -- their families were hit extraordinarily hard by this recession," she said. "They’ve lost at least two-thirds of their wealth.

According to the Civil Rights Project's 2010 survey of Cal State students, those loads are likely to keep increasing as students have a harder time getting the classes they need to graduate due to budget cuts. Gandara said 77 percent of survey respondents said they thought it was going to take at least one year more than they had planned to get their bachelors degree.

“When it is taking them longer to graduate of course, they’re getting deeper into debt, too, right? You’re not earning anything but you’re just draining any resources that you have,” Gandara said.

Tuition also rose 23 percent for Cal State students and more than 17 percent for University of California students this fall.

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Avatar for user 'heteromeles'

heteromeles | November 14, 2011 at 1:06 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

I think rocketing tuition costs are horrible for our society. By channeling kids to majors where they can recoup their investment (bus. ad. instead of political science, nursing instead of biology, pharmacy instead of chemistry, molecular biology instead of ecology), all we're doing is insuring that we have poorly informed citizens, a society that is incapable of dealing with mounting environmental challenges, and a bubbling job market where students who train for today's "must have" majors emerge in over-saturated jobs markets with massive debts and too much specialization to quickly retool.

Our future is more than nursing homes and 401ks, and Keynes only said we are all dead in the long run because he had no children. As a society, we have to invest in our future. What we're doing now will only make our long-term problems worse.

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Avatar for user 'Moravecglobal'

Moravecglobal | November 16, 2011 at 4:21 p.m. ― 5 years, 3 months ago

University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau hijack’s our kids’ futures. I love University of California (UC) having been a student & lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President Yudof, Chancellor Birgeneau from holding the line on rising costs & tuition increases. Paying more is not a better education.
Californians are reeling from 19% unemployment (includes: those forced to work part time; those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty wages must reflect California's ability to pay, not what others are paid.
Current pay increases for generously paid University of California Faculty is arrogance. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income!
Paying more is not a better education. UC Berkeley(# 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive public university.
UC President Yudof, Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau($450,000 salary) dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, cutting & freezing pay & benefits for chancellors & reforming pensions & the health benefits.
They said such faculty reforms “would not be healthy for UC”. Exodus of faculty, administrators? Who can afford them and where would they go?
We agree it is far from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university system & the state to stop cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues & individual Californians’ income.
There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that salaries & costs reflect California’s ability to pay. The sky above UC will not fall when Chancellor Birgeneau is ousted.

Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents

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Avatar for user 'SHELLY CLARK'

SHELLY CLARK | November 17, 2012 at 5:33 p.m. ― 4 years, 3 months ago

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