By Monica Gallegos |Staff Writer|
As tuition has gone up in recent years, the percentage of middle class students attending college has dropped in the UC system, however, CSUSB seems to be unaffected.
According to the Sacramento News & Review, the UC system has seen a nine percent decrease in middle-income families attending its schools, but according to financial aid, a decrease in enrollment is not due to income. According to finaid.org, the range for middle income families is between $40,000 to $95,000 annual income.
“There has not been a real decrease in enrollment related to income, however, for staying enrolled there are decreases due to academic progress requirements,” said Roseanna Ruiz, CSUSB Director of financial aid.
Some students who have recently lost their financial aid because their family income was too high feel quite the opposite.
“I think because poorer kids have more of a chance of aid, and the bar for aid is going lower and lower, that some middle class kids can’t afford college,” said student Jorge Mejia.
“My family makes about $98,000 a year, and that’s enough for our house payments and schooling, according to financial aid,” Mejia continued.
Some students think that many have given up college because some middle-income families have lost their government aid .
“They’re [middle class families] on a teeter totter,” said Mejia. “They should go out on their own, but in most cases they can’t,” he added.
However, some students from working class families believe that it is more than just receiving government aid that motivates them to go to college and stay.
“I come from a working class family, I’m the first and only to go to college but I don’t receive aid,” said Rodrigo Rodriguez, graduate from San Bernardino Valley College and currently on the CSUSB transfer waiting list.
“It’s discouraging when you see others getting aid when you can’t, but it’s also motivating and makes me want to work harder to get things done,” Rodriguez added.
According to financial aid, there has been an increase in students turning in change of income status forms because of loss of jobs.
“More parents, or even students for that matter, are trying to find jobs and are having trouble staying employed,” said Ruiz.
In times when some job standards require four-year degrees, students feel that a bachelor’s degree is not enough.
“Nowadays it’s not enough to just get a B.A., because everyone is getting that, now you need a master’s or a doctorate,” said Rodriguez. “People are getting too comfortable in middle class so you don’t strive for more,” he continued.
Financial aid does believe that CSUSB is still one of the cheapest universities in the nation, and that is why there isn’t a decrease of incoming freshmen and transfers.
“We’re a lower-cost institution compared to UC and private schools, so that is probably why we haven’t seen a decrease in enrollment,” said Ruiz.