UC Berkeley Tuition Increase Of $10k Comes To Journalism Program Where Starting Salaries For Grads Is Only $31k

Tuition at the University of California-Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism could be increasing by a lot for students who will only earn $32,000 in their first job out of grad school, if they’re lucky.

In a memo obtained by media blogger Jim Romenesko, the UC Berkeley journalism department chair blamed the increase in tuition — what he called a “supplement” — on the fact that providing a solid journalism education costs more than current revenues bring in.

“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.”

To put into perspective what kind of an increase Journalism Dean Ed Wasserman is proposing starting in the fall of 2016, he wants students to shoulder the burden of an annual fee of $10,250. This is on top of tuition costs of “$15,801.50 for California residents, and $31,083.50 for U.S. nonresidents and international students,” Romenesko reported.

What, exactly, do students get for that increase in tuition at UC Berkeley each year? According to Wasserman, it adds benefits not previously offered at the UC Berekely graduate school of journalism.

“They will benefit from enhanced career services to ensure they’re launched into promising jobs after graduation. They will benefit from vigorous advancement and outreach, to keep the School’s profile high and assure them a powerful tailwind from their degrees. And they’ll benefit from strengthened development and revenue-generation – successful operations now hampered by understaffing – to pay for fellowships, travel grants, technology upgrades, and program enhancements.”

Promising jobs after graduation, like an average starting salary of $32,000 after graduation, according to CNNMoney. Yeah, you read that right. $32,000 per year for someone with a master’s degree. CNNMoney notes that the typical starting salary for students with a bachelor’s degree was $42,666 in 2012, well behind the figures for journalists.

Could the low pay and ever-increasing tuition for those pursuing a career in journalism be why government assistance was proposed for journalists back in 2009?

Tell us what you think about the tuition rates? Are they fair? And will it benefit students at UC Berkeley? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]