Berkeley J-School Considering $5k Fee Add-On

U.C. Berkeley is considering adding a $5,000 annual fee for incoming graduate students, according to an internal memo from Dean Neil Henry obtained by Romenesko.

The memo reads, in part:

Like other campus units, the J-School has been forced to cut deeply into its permanent budget. Last year, the campus imposed a $150,000 permanent cut. We don’t know what the future holds, but we are certain that cut will not be restored any time soon and other cuts may face us when the Legislature passes a new budget.

We also have increased our private fund raising, attracting three new endowed chairs totaling $6 million, more than $2 million in new foundation grants, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from private donors to support our mission. Endowments in their early years, however, do not yield enough revenue to cover cuts elsewhere and grants are temporary.

We still must find steadier sources of revenue to meet expenses and maintain our basic operations.

The school costs $13,253 yearly for in-state students, and $28,559 for out of state students. With the fee, costs would be $18,253 and $33,559 respectively.

The dean also noted that the school has witnessed a 60 percent rise in applications from 2009 to 2010. The new fee will undoubtedly discourage some applicants, but about 1/3 of the money collected would go right back to scholarships, the dean said.