Are Tuition Hikes at California Public Colleges Turning Off Acalanes District Graduates?

A new district report shows that more seniors are opting for out-of-state institutions. And how many a year get into Ivy Leagues?

Even graduates of Acalanes district high schools, which serve some of the Bay Area’s most affluent communities, appear concerned about rising tuition costs at California public universities. 

That’s one conclusion that district officials are drawing from new data showing a drop in the number of Acalanes Union High School District graduates who enrolled this past year at University of California or California State University campuses.

Among the 2011 graduating class, around 16 percent reported that they were going on to a UC campus; that’s down from more than 20 percent in 2010 and close to 27 percent in 2006.  Around 16 percent of 2011 graduates said they were going to a CSU campus, the same number as the year before, but down from 20 percent in 2007.

Meanwhile, the number of graduates saying they were going to schools out of state has risen dramatically from below 20 percent in 2008 to close to 30 percent in 2011. 

This district’s data covers the years 2004 to 2011. It is based on post-graduate plans revealed by a total of 10,602 students of the district’s four campuses—Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas and Miramonte--at the end of their senior years.

A primary impetus for reviewing the past eight years of students’ post-graduate plans were news reports about huge tuition increases over the past few years at California public colleges, said Kevin French, associate superintendent for administrative services.

“We were curious to see what impact that had on students’ future plans,” said French, who presented these findings at the Sept. 7 school board meeting.

Since 2004, UC fees have doubled from $4,984 to $10,302 for full-time resident undergraduates—not including room, board, books and individual campus fees.

CSU fees have increased $2,572 to $6,422 during the same period.

The Acalanes district still boasts an enviably high graduation rate — 97 percent of its students earn their diplomas compared with 85 percent throughout Contra Costa County and 80 percent statewide, according to the state Department of Education.

And the same percentage of those Acalanes graduates say they plan to attend either a four- or two-year college, in California or out of state. About a quarter of graduates over the past eight years have chosen a two-year community college or trade school.

“Overall, the number attending four- and two-year schools remained constant,” French said. “But we have more students reporting that they are going out of state.”

Data from the past eight years also shows:

  • Of students going to a UC, the top campus for graduates has been UC Davis (25 percent), followed by UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley (18 percent), and UC Santa Barbara (13 percent).
  • Top CSU schools have been Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (24 percent); Chico State (20 percent); and San Francisco State (12 percent).
  • About 10 students a year go to Stanford University.
  • About 20 students a year go to an Ivy League school, and two per year receive an appointment to a military academy.
  • University of Southern California is the second top choice for in-state private school, followed by Loyola Marymount, University of San Francisco, Chapman University and St. Mary’s.
  • The top choices for out of state schools are: University of Oregon (which was the seventh most popular choice overall); University of Arizona; University of Colorado at Boulder.
Claire October 05, 2011 at 07:37 PM
That may be true of the JC students that transfer to a UC school, but there are still far too many in the JC system requiring fairly basic remediation from what I have read and heard lately.
whoride October 05, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Bald: point is they shouldn't be admitted to Cal if they can't write. Nothing against jc's although that is where kids should go for remedial learning
Jojo Potato October 05, 2011 at 10:27 PM
I'm not sure that I'm arguing in this thread but let me say this. My daughter who had trouble at Las Lomas and eventually dropped out went to DVC and got the classes she needed to get accepted to UCLA. And as the first speaker said, her diploma didn't have an asterisk on it. I'm very proud of her doing Peace Corps service in Madagascar and representing the USA. And yes, there are a lot of Lemurs there and the pictures she sends home are amazing.
Milan Moravec June 15, 2012 at 08:31 PM
There was a 43 percent jump in the number of affluent foreign and affluent out-of-state students accepted by University of California Berkeley. The more non-Californians admitted, the fewer qualified Californians can be. Fall admit rate for Californians drops to record low 18%. Another shocking picture of inept Cal. senior management. In spite of eligibility Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau ($450.000 salary), Provost Breslauer ($306,000 salary) shed thousands of instate applicants. Qualified instate applicants to public Cal. are replaced by a $50,600 payment from born abroad affluent foreign and affluent out of state students. And, Birgeneau subsidizes affluent foreign and affluent out of state tuition in the guise of diversity while he doubles instate tuition/fees. (Harvard is now less costly than Cal.) Birgeneau/Breslauer accept affluent $50,600 foreign students that displace qualified instate Californians (When depreciation of tax funded assets are included (as they should be), out of state and foreign tuition is more than $100,000 and does NOT subsidize instate tuition. Send a forceful message that Provost Breslauer Chancellor Birgeneau decisions are unacceptable: UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu and Calif. State Senator and Assemblymember.
Bruce the Bald June 16, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Whoride, you observe: "... as long as kids that should be in JC's are let in." Strange, coming from a Havaad -taught student. Perhaps the following will put your comment into perspective [and I hope you'll share it with Mr. Havaad]: (from the Report of the Committee on Composition and Rhetoric of the Harvard College Board of Overseers)"It would not seem unreasonable to insist that young men of nineteen years of age who present themselves for a college education, should be able not only to speak, but to write their mother tongue with ease and correctness. It is obviously absurd that the college -- the institution of higher education -- should be called upon to turn aside from its proper functions, and devote its means and the time of its instructors to the task of imparting elementary instruction which should be given even in ordinary grammar schools, much more in those academic institutions intended to prepare select youth for a university course. [referring not to JC's but to Exeter, Andover, Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville, etc. Ed.] The date of this report is 1892. In hope, Bruce the Bald


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