How Public Is University of California?

Capitol Weekly notes a dubious milestone this year for the University of California: students there are now contributing more than the public to the cost of their education.

In other words, this year's freshman class will be the first charged more in tuition than the state contributes to the cost of their education.

This trend has long been developing. And it means that UC campuses will continue to behave more and more like private universities, relying not only on tuition but also on private donations. The biggest, best known campuses -- UC Berkeley and UCLA -- may have the reputation and infrastructure to become effectively private in many ways.

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Politically, this trend probably means more conflict between the university and the state government. Legislators will continue to try to make policy changes at the universities, but are likely to meet stronger resistance since the state is footing less and less of the bill.

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