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California Colleges May See Higher Student Loans

While protests rage on and students plead with lawmakers to ease their student loan burdens, the last thing the younger generations want to hear is that college costs may again be on the rise.

The California State University Board of Trustees received horrible news regarding the impact that state funding cuts would have on their institutions. If a November ballot fails to be passed, the Cal State system could lose up $200 million in funding for the 2012-13 academic year, reported the LA Times.

If such a slash occurs, thousands of faculty and staff positions would be in jeopardy, some academic and athletic programs would have to be eliminated and student loans may rise.

F. King Alexander, the president of Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) believes his campus will lose $26 million if the November legislation falls through. Such an enormous funding slash would result in CSLB being forced to eliminate 400 jobs and 1,800 classes.

“We already are spending so little on our students,” explained Alexander. “We can no longer spend less on them and give them a quality education unless we reduce enrollment.”

The enrollment to CSULB is expected to impact 23,000 applicants that Alexander believes will be wait-listed in fall of 2013.

With such alarming numbers facing closed doors at colleges, high school counselors are having difficulty advising their students on what to do after graduation. Sylvia Womack, a college and career center supervisor for Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, told the LA Times that the enrollment uncertainty will drive students to private or out-of-state schools.

“This will them think, ‘Why should I wait for Cal State Long Beach when Whittier College will take me in right now?’ ” explained Womack.

In addition to those being turned away, the burden of such costs could fall on attending students as well. When the state cuts funding to its higher education institutions, the individual campuses will need to extract that money from other sources. One such possibility is raising prices for students. Raised fees would directly affect the cost of student loans.

Dan Nannini, the director of the transfer center at Santa Monica College, expressed his concerns of rising student loan costs. “The kid who is not of means or can’t enough to pay, they have to wait around until someone opens up their door.”

Many already feel higher education opportunities cater to the upper class, and place an unfair burden on those in the middle and lower brackets. Some believe the rising costs of student loans will expand that gap while others feel a price hike may deteriorate the California state university system to such a degree that future generations will simply avoid it.

21-year-old CSULB women’s studies major named Sara Castledine seems to be losing hope. “I graduate in May and if this is how it is now, how is it going to be in five years when my siblings and others are graduating and going to college? Is there going to be a school worth going to?”

Her questions raise a good point. Will there be high school graduates willing to borrow expensive student loans for what appears to be an inevitable subpar educational system, or will they simply leave California for other states’ institutions?


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