Parece mentira que entre tanta gente en esta ciudad, no tenga a nadie con quien compartir la vista desde mi casa este sábado.
“Mediodía” por Café Tacuba
I stayed home from school today. I missed a meeting with Fabian Nuñez, the speaker of the California Assembly. But it’s okay, because other students went and probably did a good job of urging him to go to the UC Regents meeting next month and vote against yet another fee increase for graduate, professional, and undergraduate students.
I was telling Isa that we did our undergrad education at a good time. When we started, California had a lot of money in revenue and an economy that was doing pretty well. That meant that for the first time in years, the UC Regents not only froze fees (tuition), but they also rolled them back a bit. True, it still cost about $13-14,000 a year to go to school and live on campus, but it looked like a big difference compared to the cost of attending that other school across town where tuition, room & board, supplies and other living expenses were about $30,000. I still took out student loans, but it was the smallest part of my financial aid package, which covered all my costs. I had a Cal Grant pay for my fees — there is no such thing as tuition in California — and a Pell Grant pay for other expenses such as books and housing. My parents actually did not contribute too much because of our family income. By my second year, I started working about 10 hours a week at a workstudy job. I also got a scholarship or two. Education was affordable for me and my family, but I still came out with some debt. Education expenses remained pretty constant for my 4 years as an undergrad, but now they’ve more than doubled.
Now, I’m a graduate student, and my fees are even higher. Last year, I had a research assistantship which included fee remission and a salary. This year, I don’t have that but just found out that I will have about $15,500 from my department for year of engagement funding. That may have been cool in 1998 when it would have covered my costs, but when my educational costs are esimated at $27,157 ($9,000 for fees), it still sucks. I’m just glad I’m not a student in one of the professional graduate programs (law, medicine, dentistry, nursing, public policy, public health, and film & television). Their fees were increased even more. So much for the advantage of an affordable… or even free (!) UC education.
Yeah, I know you’re probably thinking what I’m thinking. If costs at two major LA universities have gone from $13,000 to $22,000 and $31,000 to $44,500 in seven years, what’s it going to look like when we we have children?