Students at Cal State Long Beach; it and many other CSU campuses impose a… (Los Angeles Times )
Re "Cal State grads facing an exit fee," May 14
Give an arm and a leg, and you still have to give up more. College tuition has been on the rise for the last 10 years, and just when a college student believes that the horror is over, many of the Cal State University campuses want students to pay an exit fee. What chutzpah.
The average debt load for graduates who borrowed money to pay tuition hovers around $27,000, according to the Institute for College Access and Success' Project on Student Debt. Though a $100 exit fee is comparatively insignificant, it's still unnecessary and insulting. It pays for things that should be covered by tuition.
Student tuition has increased enough; it is time to say goodbye to an exit fee.
Tuition in the Cal State system was never free — it was just being paid by someone other than the student, based on the idea that an educated citizenry is in everyone's interest. Taxes on property owners paid for much of the education system.
Since Californians effectively gutted that funding source by passing Proposition 13, costs have shifted. Now the person who studies has to pay, a common practice outside California before Proposition 13's enactment in 1978.
One student in The Times' article was $40,000 in debt. There's a good chance that many families saved more than $40,000 in property taxes because of Proposition 13.
Perhaps one of the unintended consequences of Proposition 13 has been a generational shifting not of debt but of financial obligation.
The Cal State schools that charge an exit fee to students will probably find additional revenue soon by installing pay toilets.
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