The UC Education Abroad Program’s funding will undergo significant cuts from the UC Office of the President, decreasing from $4.1 million to $3.7 million in the 2010-2011 school year. Furthermore, the EAP expects its budget to sink as low as $1.3 million by 2014.
To cope with the cuts, the Education Abroad Center speculates an increase in fees for students under the EAP by roughly $1,000 to $1,500 per program. Though these fees are indeterminate, they are nonetheless expected.
The EAP, like all of UC Davis’ study abroad programs, prides itself on affordability. Though the EAC maintains that the added program fees will keep its prices at a competitive level, these fees are substantial regardless. Many of the EAP’s already-expensive programs will only become more costly, which will effectively turn some interested students away.
Whether through the UC Davis Quarter or Summer Abroad programs, the EAP, or a third party, studying abroad offers an invaluable opportunity for students to visit a foreign country. The EAP also gives structure to the experience, providing students with the assistance and support needed for immersion in a foreign country. Students who would normally never be able to spend an extended amount of time abroad benefit tremendously from the program. Additionally, students are able to work toward their major through the EAP.
Students studying abroad face significant costs even without these expected fee increases. In some cases, UC students are still required to pay UC fees for services such as Unitrans or the Activities and Recreation Center while abroad.
Even so, many students who are unsure of their financial ability to pay for the program will likely turn down the opportunity with these expected fees. This even affects the weight of financial aid and scholarships. The EAP’s own scholarship for summer and fall programs of 2010-2011 offers $1,000 awards to five winners – an amount that would essentially be negated by the new program fees. Traveling abroad as a part of a student’s undergraduate degree is a privilege few students are able to experience. With these additional fees, even fewer will have that chance.