College kids fleeing to other states

June 5, 2012

With tuition on an upward trajectory,  program cutbacks increasing, even while pay for top administrators is skyrocketing, more and more California high school students are looking outside the state for their higher education. And they are finding a warm reception from schools in neighboring states, officials of which have been accelerating recruiting. (Los Angeles Times)

Special discounts, smaller classes and a big increase in the number and range of available courses are being offered by anxious recruiters from Arizona, Washington, Oregon and other western states.

Enrollment by state students in California State University and University of California schools has been dropping steadily since 2007, down 4 points since then to only 18 percent today. Much of the decline is blamed on a lack of available courses, according to a Public Policy Institute of California study.

That study also pointed out that more foreign and out-of-state students are in turn being wooed by the California system, because those students pay more for their education.



  1. rogerfreberg says:

    Although I have had this discussion with academics before… there are a small number of students that would like to find a job when they graduate… graduation — after all — is no longer a key to landing anything outside of the fast food or housekeeping industries.

    Last poll I saw reported that over 80% of graduating seniors were planning to move back home… delightful thought. I can only wonder how long parents will tolerate this waste before they demand something better from their public schools?

    Lastly, since we are talking about Cal Poly… which is supposed to be a PolyTECHNIC… you know… a place where science has some importance… I would like to ask this question: where is the neuroscience department ( their graduates get jobs), for example?

    I see a lot less doing and less learning in Cal Poly’s “learn by doing.” ( this was a quote from Aristotle … but if you went to Cal Poly I wouldn’t expect you to know that.)

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
  2. azuresees says:

    Attention Sacramento and Board of Regents: You people are killing California with your bureaucracy.. You continue to run businesses, and now students, out of state with your collective Stalinist policies. You
    Spend, Spend and then SPEND more on scared COWS with your handwrung empathy for various recipients of government “assistance,” then wonder why the heck we are a wreck!

    STOP blowing my hard earned buck on B** SH**! Get your act together, or I, for one, will cease voting for any bond what-so-ever… GET it, politbureau? Oh…by the way, because it’s such a tossed about term, let me educate those who are not familiar with the true meaning:

    1.A system of government in which most of the important decisions are made by state officials rather than by elected representatives.
    (looked it up on the net, yes)

    (12) 22 Total Votes - 17 up - 5 down
    • r0y says:

      Why don’t you try writing them a letter rather than posing anonymously on a small-town news website?

      Who knows, maybe someone will actually read it.

      (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  3. Moravecglobal says:

    Tuition is so expensive at University of California that students are going out of state. Access, affordability to University of California Berkeley is farther and farther out of reach. UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau is outspoken on why elite public universities, like Cal, should charge Californians much more. With Birgeneau’s leadership number 1 ranked Harvard is less costly (all in costs) than Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau’s charge much more tuition to Californians makes Cal. the most expensive public higher education in our country!

    Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) likes to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar expected. The Chancellor’s ‘charge Californians more’ tuition skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011-12 academic years. If Birgeneau had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over the past 10 years they would still be in reach of most middle income students. Increased funding is not Cal’s solution.

    Public UC Berkeley is to maximize access to the widest number of California students at a reasonable cost with a mission of diversity and equality of opportunity. Birgeneau’s and Provost George Breslauer’s ($306,000 salary) ‘charge Californians more’ tuition denies middle income Californians the transformative value of Cal’s higher education.

    A sad unacceptable legacy for politicians, parents, and children.
    Opinion to: UC Board of Regents and Calif. State Senators and Assembly members.

    (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
    • srichison says:

      Get a grip. Tuition and fees (not texts and room/board) at Berkeley are $14,460 per year. And that includes health insurance. Cal States are less. Have costs gone up? Sure. Just try a private school for that price. Can’t find one.

      (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        If you had a free market in education, completely free, that picture would change. Prices would be freed to seek their own natural levels, the same as with any other good or service.

        That’s the way it should be.

        Artificially low prices at “public universities” are the result of monopoly privileges granted those institutions by the state.

        That’s wrong.

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  4. MaryMalone says:

    My parents’ generation started payment, in the form of taxes, on the California college system we have today. Neither of my parents attended school past the eighth grade. The learned to see an education as the difference between succeeding and not, and were glad to pay the taxes to build and fund the system that all three of their children attended.

    My generation continued paying for California’s college system, and until the last decade, an education in a California state college, university or community college was very reasonable.

    I greatly resent the decades of state legislative oversight of our state budget, which has indebted our state to the point that those we elected to run our state now feel justified in stripping from the people of California access to the affordable college system WE funded.

    It is short-sighted, and serves only the best interests of those who did NOT pay, by their California payroll taxes, for the California college system. What has made us strong as a state–our educated workers–is being taken from this generation, and future generation, by politicians whose motto seems to be “I got mine, who cares about you.” In the process, these short-sighted “me-first” fools are bankrupting the future of our state.

    It is the same policy of “poverty-through-ignorance, now and in the future,” that defined the lives of many of our parents who did not have access to college education.

    Without an educated business- and work-force, California will never return to its glory days. We will, like the rest of the country, simply sink further and further into a third-world reality, where the masses of uneducated poor suffer while those who “got their’s” –from the college system we funded, when the education we provided to them was still affordable–are able to thrive, prosper, and rise to positions where they will make the decisions that keep us uneducated and send overseas the jobs we create in the U.S. overseas here in the U.S..

    I resent the the state giving priority to nonresident students, just because they pay more in tuition. My parents and my generation PAID for the system they are now selling to the highest bidder.

    I resent the back-of-the-hand slap-in-the-face payment we received for generations of California taxpayers creating and funding the college system our children cannot afford.

    I resent politicians telling us we need a “bullet-train-to-nowhere” while our state’s children fight for jobs at Burger Kings because the college system California taxpayers created has been run into the ground by the politicians and administrators we handed it off to.

    It’s not just Paso Robles whose legislating body and administration has its priorities upside down. We see it in other cities, local government agencies, counties and at the state level, as well.

    In Paso Robles, the citizens have watched their city be run into the ground by its city councils and city administrators. Some of the PR residents have decided to seek change in the form of voting into the city council a majority of council members who do not serve their cronies first and the citizens they represent last, if ever.

    Some PR citizens believe that, until this majority is in place, the current city council and city manager–in whom so many PR residents have no faith–should not be allowed to make major decisions, such as new funding measures and selecting the new police chief. They believe allowing the same people who ran the city into the ground to make such important decisions, which will instill enormous power in individuals, at an enormous debt for the PR taxpayers, to be folly.

    I believe California voters should take the same approach.

    We should not vote to authorize any funding, via tax or other measure, until we vote out of office the politicians who are now in office and have continued the course of running our state–and its college system– into the ground.

    Once we have voted into office politicians who will serve the best interests of the people first, and the demands of their cronies last, we can then work with our elected legislators on the changes the California voters believe are needed in our state.

    The idea of continuing to empower our state legislators, who turn around and use it to make their special-interest supporters richer, has been tried and it has failed miserably….at the expense of the California taxpayers.

    It is time to try something new. As a good start, I would recommend NOT giving the self-serving fools in California government, who got us where we are now, any more power or funding to make it worse. Instead, we should vote into office politicians who are not beholding to special-interest cronies, and who are willing to work WITH the taxpayers to find solutions the TAXPAYERS can support.

    (14) 18 Total Votes - 16 up - 2 down
    • Structure says:

      I can see that you are concerned about this issue and willing to put time into showing that here, but I don’t read anything about a solution in your post. You suggest no new taxes etc. until the rascals are thrown out. While I understand that sentiment, that means nothing will happen. Remember that part of the way that you and your parents supported this system was through paying higher taxes. The two factors driving the current decline are A) an economic recession that was mediated at first by federal stimulus but no longer and the Prop 13 system that allows neither party to govern when in power, and B) the growth of the prison system which represents a massive shift in public resources towards incarceration. (Prison guards often make six figures a year…more than almost any CSU faculty…so those classes that aren’t being offered are in part not being offered because we are paying someone to guard rather than educate.)

      What in your view, should we do to solve these?

      For me, it says we’re going to have to pay higher taxes (just as prior generations did). We should end the war on drugs and other “get tough” measures that aren’t tough or effective except at putting people into the system. We should also throw out politicians that refuse to present real solution and stop the bloat of administrative salaries.

      (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        I agree with you about the prison system. We incarcerate FAR TOO MANY people. This is absurd. It is not productive, creative, or innovating. It is a gross misallocation of economic resources.

        But I disagree that we “must” pay higher taxes. Taxes have gotten confiscatory via uncontrolled government growth (the type which incarcerates too many people, etc., etc.). This is unsustainable.

        If we stop the “Drug War” and reduce the prison population, and reduce the size of government accordingly, then we shouldn’t need to pay “higher taxes.”

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  5. Tammy says:

    I think in state, local kids should get top priority. It is ethically wrong to favor those from out of state or foreign countries just for higher fees

    (18) 22 Total Votes - 20 up - 2 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Under the current “public education system,” I agree; it is ethically wrong.


      Privatize all public universities and you won’t have to worry about it.

      A free market solves ALL KINDS OF PROBLEMS. Then the schools will exchange with their customers in any way they want. That is what they should be doing!

      This is only an issue because the “public” universities have monopoly priviledges; THAT is what is really unethical.

      (-4) 22 Total Votes - 9 up - 13 down
    • Structure says:

      The out of state kids are subsidizing the education of local kids. That’s the WHOLE point of trying to attract them. They pay the full cost of their education and then some which helps the bottom line for subsidized students (in state). If we want more local students (I DO), then we’re going to have to find ways to increase or redirect state revenue.

      There are some efficiencies to be made within the system. Too many administrators. Too high pay for senior admin. But there will be no tooth faerie fixes. Good education and research are going to be expensive.

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        If CA universities seek to charge students the full price of their educations, then that is tantamount to PRIVATIZING the system.

        Why not simply make it a fact and let the market sort it all out the way it does everything else?

        Why should the taxpayer have to worry about the “education market”? He shouldn’t, except where he chooses to exchange with it.

        There is nothing going on in education that a free market could not deal with!

        (1) 11 Total Votes - 6 up - 5 down
        • Structure says:

          So where is the real world example of your faith based initiative?

          I for one believe Santa Clause will make it alright. Just need everyone to have faith….

          (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
          • The Gimlet Eye says:

            Where is it??? It’s all around you! The trouble with you is that you are like a fish who can’t see the water. But without the water, you die. People like you have stood by while the damned government has encroached on the free market in this country so much that you no longer recognize it when you see it! You just take it for granted.

            You prove my point every time you go shopping!

            Until things start to fall apart, that is, then you wax indignant and beg your government geniuses to “create jobs” for you!

            Where is the “real world example” of a free market?

            Walmart, K-Mart, Target, Costco, Home Depot, McDonald’s, Burger King, American Public University, CCN, Rice University, USC, Point Loma College, Tulane, Orchard Supply Hardware, Taco Bell, University of Phoenix, National University, Grand Canyon College, ITT Technical Institute, DeVry……..

            Stop looking to government to solve the problems of civilization! Government exists only to protect your civil rights. It doesn’t even do the latter very well and requires eternal vigilance to keep it in line, something that very few citizens have time for.

            You need a crash course in free market, Austrian economics. Go to:

            (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
            • Structure says:

              None of the examples you cite are examples of a “free market” they are examples of private ownership if that’s what you mean, but they all depend heavily on the existence of public services. Reality is often messy and combines all sorts of ownership.

              What nation has developed a “free market” system without public institutions? How have they done better than others?

              Not a fan of Austrian economics. They consistently miscall markets.

              (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
              • The Gimlet Eye says:

                Yes, they are! They function IN SPITE OF the presence and interference of government.

                Do you know what a “free market” is?

                A free market economy depends on a system of PRIVATE PROPERTY. It cannot function without it.

                By the way, what nations have created a “socialist state” which has succeeded?


                Would you have the government run everything? That is what you seem to be implying. See how long that lasts and see how long before you are in the streets rebelling against the inevitable police state that you will be facing.

                Socialist states have all been tyrannies, every last gd one of them!

                We also are well on our way down that same road.

                (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
                • Structure says:

                  Oh, Gimlet now you’re just making stuff up and calling names. I’m actually interested in real models that might improve society. Private ownership has clear advantages in many cases, but I’m not convinced all. Likewise, public ownership has its role in some spheres.

                  So real world examples of more socialist states: Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China. Lots of bad with the good, but the first three are functioning at a very high level despite a huge public sector.

                  Examples of more “free market” states? Maybe Singapore? The US in 1870s? Somolia (not trying to just be insulting with that, but the point remains that destroying government does not make paradise.)

                  (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  Nazi Germany?

                  Imperial Japan? Japan’s “Lost Decade”?

                  The EU on the brink of collapse?

                  Yep, lots of “functioning at a very high level” there!

                  Who said anything about “destroying government”?

                  The ones who are trying to “make paradise” (and thus destroy all civil society) are the utopian socialists, NOT THE CAPITALISTS.

                  (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
                • pasojim says:

                  I have enjoyed following the discussion Structure and The Gimlet Eye are having.

                  I think it is a conversation that needs to happen at a much broader level

                  I know it is a complicated subject, but basically we have, Blue Sky utopia and our desire to be cared for on one side, and human nature and self- reliance on the other.

                  It doesn’t seem like the line between the two would be so broad, but us humans sure have managed to blur the line during our time on the planet.

                  (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
                • Structure says:

                  You still aren’t listing examples of economies with more free market institutions than the current US. Lets leave Nazi Germany out of it (where the heck did that come from anyway…), currently Germany has a large public sector with what we in the US might consider socialist leanings. However, they also have much lower unemployment than the US and a strong export surplus. I don’t personally, think the US should seek to emulate Germany, Denmark, or Sweden but I don’t think we’d be doing badly to move in their direction. Obviously, all there countries are great places to live and highly productive.

                  But what we need also are examples from the other side. What might be the future of the US if we continue down our current path? What are the advantages and disadvantages of privatizing education? Unfortunately, Gimlet you’re not holding your end up and providing examples.

                  (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  So, you want chapter and verse, eh?

                  According to Murray Rothbard, “The flourishing of capitalism in the Middle Ages in the local and noncentralized cities of northern Italy, the Hanseatic League, and the fairs of Champagne” are examples. Also, “the outstanding growth of capitalist economy in free, localized Antwerp and Holland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus, the Dutch came to outstrip the rest of Europe while retaining medieval local autonomy and eschewing state-building, mercantilism, government participation in enterprise–and aggressive war.”

                  Murrary Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty (Auburn, Alabama: Mises Institute, 2011), 22.

                  Our American Revolution was fought because of the tyrannical policies of the mercantilist British Empire.

                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
                • Structure says:

                  Yes, thank you Gimlet. I will take a look. Seems awful far back to use for understanding the modern world, but it is a concrete example.

                  Many people seem to misunderstand the idea of Adam Smith.


                  (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
                • The Gimlet Eye says:

                  I presume that the laws of economics, like the laws of physics, do not change through time. Am I mistaken?

                  If economics means taking up raw materials out of the earth and turning them into finished products ready for sale to consumers, then any period of history will do for the study of economics.

                  If economics is also the study of purposeful human action, choices, means and ends, then again, any period of history will do for its study.

                  Since the human race has always acted purposefully, chosen, and pursued ends via certain means, then what difference does it make which historic era one chooses to demonstrate the fact?

                  Granted, there have been relatively few cases of really free markets in history. But there have also been relatively few cases of democratic republics. But this is no reason to assume that free markets, like democratic republics, cannot succeed if given a chance.

                  Indeed, all our economic problems in this country, whether public education or anything else, stem from the fact that free markets have not been given sufficient chance to do their work.

                  By the way, you can access this massive book for free at:


                  (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  6. pasojim says:

    My college age kid figured out there isn’t much future for him in california. Not much here in the way of work or getting in to a college.

    So he packed up and moved to texas. In no time he was enrolled in school and got a decent job.

    I never gave him too much credit for having any sense, But I have a hard time faulting his decision to move.

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
  7. californiagold says:

    This article is consistent with our experience.

    Our youngest was wooed by a top 20 US News and World Reports university from out-of-state. The cost for a bachelor’s degree from that university was a fraction of what it would have cost to earn a degree in California because of the generous grant and scholarship package (a private university). I asked the admissions officer about the offer and was told they wanted to make a dent in the west coast market. We went back to the California universities and asked if they could meet the out-of-state university offer and was told no. One cited the fact they can fill enrollment with foreign students and make money–what I was asking was for them to spend more for a local kid.

    (31) 33 Total Votes - 32 up - 1 down

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