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Talk Back: Should California colleges adopt a tuition-freeze plan?

July 3, 2012 | 10:29 am

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Talk back LAA 24-year-old UC alumnus is gathering signatures for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would freeze undergraduate tuition at UC, Cal State and community colleges at the levels students paid when they first enrolled. Increases could occur with each incoming freshman group, the way many of the existing plans work in other states, The Times’ Larry Gordon reported.

Critics say such pricing guarantees are marketing stunts that don't solve the more serious problems of state funding cutbacks and runaway campus spending. They contend such plans benefit some students but increase tuition inflation for future students.

Campbell's initiative "makes more sense when you're in a stable funding environment," UC system spokeswoman Dianne Klein said. "If you have the volatility that we've had in the past few years, you'd get wild swings [in tuition] between classes that lead to their own problems."

Campbell said he believes California's public colleges simply shift the burden of that volatility to students without much thought about the effects.

Should California universities explore freezing tuition for each incoming class or is such a proposal simply a bandage that would further complicate and fail to solve the underlying problem? Weigh in by tweeting @LANow, on our local Facebook page or in the comments section below.

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-- Larry Gordon and Samantha Schaefer

Photo: Christopher Campbell, shown holding signed petitions outside the UC Irvine Law Library, is heading a campaign to have undergraduate tuition frozen for the years a student attends. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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