Year after year, students at public schools across California stage demonstrations to protest continual increases in tuition.
But, a of students at UC Riverside has proposed an alternative way of paying for public college that would eliminate the traditional idea of tuition.
Instead of paying tuition during school or paying off loans after school is over, students would begin paying the state for the education they received once they begin working after graduation.
The amount individuals pay would be based on how much income they earn.
The plan seeks to end the fear of rising tuition costs, still bothering college students we spoke with Tuesday.
“It seems the price I was promised for in-state tuition is not what I’m getting right now, and they just keep saying it’s going to keep getting higher,” said CSUB student Michelle Bean.
The students who came up with the idea say they plan to meet with University of California officials to discuss the details of the proposal next month.
Based on the current proposal, college students would pay, on average, 5% of their income every year for the first 20 years they work, back to the state in lieu of tuition.
But, 5% is just a base rate. There would be additional fees and deductions for certain groups. For instance, out-of-state and international students would pay 6% of their income back to the state. Those who graduate and decide to go into the public sector in California would pay just 3.5%.
Another problem the plan seeks to address is that of students having to work long, hard hours to pay their way through school, if they don’t qualify for loans.
“A lot of students are faced with the predicament of 'Should I go to school? Should I continue trying to get a job? Should I get another job on top of that?” said CSUB student Pedro Monge. “I mean, nowadays it's hard because people have to make those ends meet.”
But, not every student is for the revamped system. Some say it’s unfair to students who will go on to make high salaries once they graduate.
“I don’t know how much I’ll be making and how much that 5% is going to be,” said Jose Rivera, who is studying business at CSUB. “Is it going to benefit me or bring me down, you know?”
Some argue that it discourages financial success down the road.
That's exactly what it's telling me to do, fail,” said Robert Craig, a retired Navy engineer now attending classes at CSUB. “Whatever I do, don't succeed.”