Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez recently introduced a bill that would create a scholarship to help middle class students pay for higher education. This plan would guarantee a two-thirds reduction in fees to those families who made $80,000 to $150,000 a year, and could potentially help 42,000 UC students and 150,000 CSU students.
This bill has the potential to help many UC and CSU students financially. Providing aid to the middle class will help not only those students, but the UC system and California as a whole. The importance of an educated middle class is clear, especially during a time of economic turmoil. Providing cheaper higher education options to the middle class creates a smarter society.
This plan is a positive step in the right direction, but obviously it would be best if tuition would just stop rising. Furthermore, it is admirable to help those families who make less than $150,000 a year, there are families who make more than that who are still struggling to send their children to school. This is a greater structural issue that needs to be addressed. While Pérez’s plan should be applauded, we should also keep in mind that this is yet another temporary fix to a permanent problem.
Some students can definitely benefit from quick financial fixes, and this plan could allow students to continue attending college who previously thought that they would not be able to afford it. Any financial help for students is a good thing. This plan seems like a no-brainer, and it should pass.
However, students and government alike should remember that this is merely a band-aid fix, and that there is still a lot of work to do in making sure that all students can afford a UC education.