College In California Is Burning a Big Whole In Your Pocket


College is part of the American Dream. Across the nation, many teenagers long to have that college experience and earn a degree. Some students are fortunate enough to get a full scholarship, whether it be an academic or athletic scholarship. Others have a rich uncle who is footing the bill. But for most students fresh out of high school, they will be forced to take out student loans to pay the cost of their tuition.

The costs of attending college have been steadily rising and show no signs of slowing down. To attend a private 4 year university, expect to pay around $31,231. With such a high price tag, many students opt to attend a state or public university. While state schools are much expensive than private colleges and universities, they are by no means a bargain.

California is home to many prestigious public universities that offer residents a reduced in-state tuition. Like all universities, tuition increased every year. Back in 2001, California residents could attend a UC campus for just $3,429. This represents a small fraction of what tuition costs today. In the short span of a decade from 2004 to 2013, the average tuition at California schools more than doubled. But believe it or not, the cost of attendance was not always as hefty as it is today.

Back in the day, college in California for in-state students was free of charge. Yes, that is correct, college used to be free! In 1956, a small incidentals fee of $84 was instituted. Then in 1968, a fee of $300 was adopted. In the mid 1970s, the fee was increased to $630. In the 1980s, it was further increased to $1,296. Then, in the mid 1990s, the fee jumped to $4,354. This marked the era where tuition began to rapidly increase each year.

For the 2014-2015 academic calendar year, the average in-state tuition in California was $13,492. This cost is $226 more than the U.S. average, ranking California as the 24th most expensive state in which to attend college. The cost has risen since the academic calendar year 2012-2013, where it cost an average of $13,026. Between calendar years 2014-2015 and 2012-2013, there was an annual tuition increase of 3.58%. The tuition is projected to be raised again by 5% over the next 5 years and there is no indication that tuition will not continue to go up each year.