Hyperinflation of Tuition and Fees in the University of California System
This chart demonstrates how badly California college students are being ripped off.
The red line shows the actual average undergraduate tuition + fees across University of California campuses, from 1975/76 to 2011/12.
The blue line shows what tuition + fees would be if they increased only because of inflation. These numbers are calculated based on historical Consumer Price Index data (specifically, the CPI-U, which applies to urban consumers). 1975 is used as the base year.
The ratio of the height of the two lines gives the rip-off index — or how much tuition and fees hyperinflated relative to general cost of living — for a given year.
For 2011/12, the ripoff index is obtained by dividing actual tuition + fees ($11,064) by what would be expected by inflation alone ($2,506), giving 4.41.
A simple way to interpret this is as follows: after adjusting for inflation, the financial burden on students and their families to pay tuition and fees at UC is 4.41 times greater than in 1975!
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