Graduation is just around the corner, and the class of 2019 will soon be leaving UC Santa Cruz with memories, a diploma and over $22,000 of student debt each.
Students in California are working to alleviate this debt by campaigning for free tuition. If successful, they would restore the UC to the free public good it once was.
UC tuition in 1985 was only $1,296 compared to the current $13,900 per year. After adjusting for inflation, tuition is still four times as expensive as it was 34 years ago. In opposition to these steady increases, students across California have been lobbying for new legislation and equitable education.
In 2017, under pressure from student lobbyists, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 19 into law, easing the financial burden of low-income students attending community colleges in California. This year, politicians are considering three more bills that will further aid students at community colleges if passed — Senate Bill 291, AB 2 and AB 542.
Guaranteed funding for both tuition and additional costs would be monumental for students at California Community Colleges (CCC). If these bills pass, it would also provide a precedent for analogous campaigns seeking state subsidized tuition for CSUs and UCs.
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