Khosla Declares UCSD Tuition ‘Too Low’


Written by: Justin Xu

“I’m proud to announce that we no longer have students living under the poverty line,” said Chancellor Khosla.
Photo by Justin Xu

At a recent press conference, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla announced that tuition for the university ranked #1 in the world for Gastroenterology is “far too low,” citing the “dismal” sum of money students pay to attend his university. “We can’t keep letting these students rip us off,” he told one reporter. “Look, universities are businesses, just like Amazon and Nestlé. And I’m a great businessman.”

Recently, Khosla expressed second thoughts about the rapid expansion of the university he has directed during his time in office. “In theory, more student tuition and fees meant more funding for the university — but now there are more students saying they need expensive things, like courses and TAs who are paid for their work,” Khosla said.

Indeed, despite the planned expansion of the student body, the university’s ability to accommodate those students struggles to keep up. Many students have expressed difficulties in trying to secure housing, work opportunities, or even required courses. “This is my fifth year being waitlisted for CSE 11,” said one student. “It looks like my position on the waitlist now is #39,768.”

To address these concerns, toward the end of his latest press conference, Khosla revealed his plan to compensate for the rising numbers of incoming students. “The problem we face at this moment is not our own lack of resources, but that our university is far too affordable for the general public,” he said. “My solution is simple: triple UCSD’s tuition so that fewer students can afford to attend, and the ones who can will think it’s normal that I live in a mansion.”

Khosla also shared his views on the current cost of attendance, which some students say is already too high: “Students at our university are given the opportunity to be lectured at by faculty at the forefront of their fields, including Nobel Prize laureates. We can no longer afford to share these resources with students who are barely willing to pay their
lifetime savings.”

For the 2023 cohort, the UCSD website estimates the cost of California residents’ tuition at $18,480 per year, which Khosla considers “pocket change, compared to the massive benefits students gain in their undergraduate career.” If Khosla’s plan comes to fruition, tuition costs would rise to around $56,000 per year, which Khosla says would “weed out stingy students” who aren’t “willing to take on crippling debt.”

In the following weeks, Khosla’s statements sparked massive controversy. While students and faculty alike publicly condemned his decision, others in UCSD’s administration have praised Khosla for introducing a “quick, easy solution to problems arising from over-enrollment,” according to Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons. Meanwhile, in r/UCSD, user u/moresubtle commented: “Is [Khosla] being serious [right now]? UCSD is my dream school and I’m literally not sure if I can come anymore.”

And u/moresubtle isn’t the only one: since the press conference, complaints from high school students filling out college applications, concerned UCSD students, and faculty have flooded into internet forums and local news editorials. When asked for his response to the backlash from potential incoming students, Khosla released the following message in an official statement from the Office of the Chancellor: “Good, it’s working.”

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