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Ed Wasserman, dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, says in a memo to the j-school community that “the amount students now pay does not reflect what their degrees cost to provide [and] reluctantly, we’ve concluded that our students will have to shoulder more of this cost.”

The dean proposes a $10,250 annual supplemental fee, beginning the 2016-17 academic year.

He acknowledges that the amount “is not insubstantial” and says “our main concern is with the roughly 73 percent of students … who borrow to finance their J-School education. We estimate that worst case, their average debt repayment on a 10-year loan would rise by $152 per month.”

According to the j-school’s website, tuition and fees for the 2014-15 academic year are $15,801.50 for California residents, and $31,083.50 for U.S. nonresidents and international students.

I invited Wasserman to comment and he replied: “I’m inclined to let the memo speak for itself for the time being. I probably will want to add some comments once I hear more reaction, which will come over the next few days and weeks.”

His memo:

September 12, 2014

To: THE J-SCHOOL COMMUNITY
From: ED WASSERMAN, DEAN
Subject: PROPOSAL TO ADD TUITION SUPPLEMENT

In the next few weeks I will be asking the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism to join me in recommending a supplemental fee to be paid by students starting in fall ‘16.

It’s a significant move, one not made easily. But an analysis of rising costs, of the inadequacy of central campus support, and of the money we will need to ensure the institutional strength and instructional quality of the School make this an action we need to take.

Nobody welcomes higher expenses. But the reality is that the amount students now pay does not reflect what their degrees cost to provide. Reluctantly, we’ve concluded that our students will have to shoulder more of this cost, just as nearly every other professional school student at Cal does./CONTINUES Read More