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Re: “Sacto a Pathetic Spectacle

Chris Thompson’s inappropriate comments about UC’s fee increases locking poor kids out of a public university are quite simply wrong. First, for any California student with financial need whose family earns less than $70,000 a year, UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan covers fees in their entirety through scholarships and grants. As importantly, because at UC one-third of all fee increases are put back into financial aid, fee increases allow us to enhance the amount of aid available to help offset the costs of housing, food, books, etc., for those students who need financial aid. While everyone’s fees go up, this “return to aid” policy helps keep the total cost of college down for those from low-income families. At UC Berkeley, the proof of our success at providing access to students from low-income families is that this year some 9300 students, about 37% of our undergraduate student body, the highest level ever, are eligible for federal Pell grants, that is, they come from families with incomes under $45,000. Berkeley’s Pell Grant students exceed the total number of such students at all the Ivy League universities plus Stanford combined. With the withdrawal of state funding, increased fees are necessary to cover the costs of offering our students an excellent education. Our fee structure guarantees both access and excellence.

Posted by cholmes on 08/31/2010 at 1:40 PM

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