California State University: Don’t Pass on In-State Grad Students

Target: Dr. Charles B. Reed, Chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system

Goal: Do not prohibit California residents from attending graduate schools within the state.

Harsh budget cuts are going to be making it even harder for California students to attend graduate schools in the upcoming spring semester. After years of financial restrictions and another $750 million cut in state funds last year, the California State University (CSU) system has been forced to draw (and save) money wherever it is possible. Unfortunately, that means denying admission to thousands of students living within the state.

“We’re limiting undergraduate and graduate enrollment for anyone who needs some sort of subsidy to attend college, which happens to be California residents,” explained Mike Uhlenkamp, a CSU spokesman. On average, in-state grad students pay approximately $7,400 in tuition per year (an amount that is largely discounted on behalf of the state); students from other states or countries, on the other hand, pay upwards of $17,000 a year, making them much more desirable to a system that is badly strapped for cash.

It is easy to see where this is unfair. For many, the purpose of the CSU is to educate Californians (among others): residents who for generations have paid taxes that have helped support the system they are now effectively being shut out of.  And students are not the only ones seeing red; teachers, too, have responded that the current policy is favoring students with cash in hand over California students regardless of which party best meets the requisites of the university.

“It’s discriminating. I’m appalled,” said Maria Nieto, a professor of biology and coordinator of her department grad studies at Cal State East Bay. “Out-of-state students are welcome. International students are welcome. Diversity is welcome, is important, but you don’t exclude California residents.”

Tell the chancellor of the CSU system not to exclude California residents from furthering their education within the state.


Dear Dr. Reed,

There is no denying that California, and particularly its system of state universities, is struggling financially. As each year passes, more and more money is being taken away from this educational system, and the students who rely on it the most are feeling the pain. In the latest attempt to gain the financial upper hand, the CSU system has decided that it would be more beneficial to solely accept non-resident graduate students for the upcoming spring semester. California residents, on the other hand, will have to find other ways to complete their education.

It is easy to see where this is unfair. In-state students have been committed to the CSU system through generations of taxpaying. To exclude them from the roster would be to ban an integral part of the state-wide community, one that continues to give to the state that is turning away from them. While it completely reasonable to understand that changes are necessary to bring the CSU system back on its feet, cutting off resources to residents is not the way to do this.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: National Institutes of Health

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One Comment

  1. If education is out of reach, then what kind of society can we expect to have?

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