Even graduates of Acalanes district high schools, which serve some of the Bay Area’s most affluent communities, appear concerned about rising tuition costs at California public universities.
That’s one conclusion that district officials are drawing from new data showing a drop in the number of Acalanes Union High School District graduates who enrolled this past year at University of California or California State University campuses.
Among the 2011 graduating class, around 16 percent reported that they were going on to a UC campus; that’s down from more than 20 percent in 2010 and close to 27 percent in 2006. Around 16 percent of 2011 graduates said they were going to a CSU campus, the same number as the year before, but down from 20 percent in 2007.
Meanwhile, the number of graduates saying they were going to schools out of state has risen dramatically from below 20 percent in 2008 to close to 30 percent in 2011.
This district’s data covers the years 2004 to 2011. It is based on post-graduate plans revealed by a total of 10,602 students of the district’s four campuses—Acalanes, Campolindo, Las Lomas and Miramonte--at the end of their senior years.
A primary impetus for reviewing the past eight years of students’ post-graduate plans were news reports about huge tuition increases over the past few years at California public colleges, said Kevin French, associate superintendent for administrative services.
“We were curious to see what impact that had on students’ future plans,” said French, who presented these findings at the Sept. 7 school board meeting.
Since 2004, UC fees have doubled from $4,984 to $10,302 for full-time resident undergraduates—not including room, board, books and individual campus fees.
CSU fees have increased $2,572 to $6,422 during the same period.
The Acalanes district still boasts an enviably high graduation rate — 97 percent of its students earn their diplomas compared with 85 percent throughout Contra Costa County and 80 percent statewide, according to the state Department of Education.
And the same percentage of those Acalanes graduates say they plan to attend either a four- or two-year college, in California or out of state. About a quarter of graduates over the past eight years have chosen a two-year community college or trade school.
“Overall, the number attending four- and two-year schools remained constant,” French said. “But we have more students reporting that they are going out of state.”
Data from the past eight years also shows:
- Of students going to a UC, the top campus for graduates has been UC Davis (25 percent), followed by UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley (18 percent), and UC Santa Barbara (13 percent).
- Top CSU schools have been Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo (24 percent); Chico State (20 percent); and San Francisco State (12 percent).
- About 10 students a year go to Stanford University.
- About 20 students a year go to an Ivy League school, and two per year receive an appointment to a military academy.
- University of Southern California is the second top choice for in-state private school, followed by Loyola Marymount, University of San Francisco, Chapman University and St. Mary’s.
- The top choices for out of state schools are: University of Oregon (which was the seventh most popular choice overall); University of Arizona; University of Colorado at Boulder.