Colleges preparing for financial pinch

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webmaster | 03/21/12
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News that the California State University system may close its spring admissions at most campuses next year has brought out the hand-wringers in force. Unless the voters pass Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase this fall, they say, as many as 25,000 students could find themselves unable to enroll or get classes.

That has just a whiff of blackmail to it.

College costs are going up at a higher rate than almost anything else except medical care. While some colleges, such as Fresno State, have made many cuts, college-cost inflation continues unabated in the state.

Far be it from me to tell colleges how to control costs.

However, it may be that there are people in publicly supported college on many levels who shouldn’t be there. Thus, enrollment cuts could be what are needed. Options such as community colleges and trade schools may be better for a lot of students.

Many who enroll in the state’s university systems are ill-prepared to do so. Thirty percent of high school graduates, for example, don’t do well enough in math, science and English to join the armed services. How can they be qualified to enter college?

Cal State campuses already limit spring enrollees to students who have two-year community college associate degrees that have prepared them for CSU matriculation. That setup is best for the student and for CSU.

Many students find their first two years on a big California state university system campus to be beyond them, for academic and social reasons. They wind up dropping out, which is a waste of both their time and the college’s resources.

Community colleges, such as the Madera Community College Center, can bring young people into academia or teach them trades. Either way, such institutions will be increasingly more valuable if the CSU system finds it must cut back more.

 

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