Another Hidden Cost Of College? How Student Parking Fees Are Subsidizing Faculty, Staff

Throughout college, Atticus Reyes traveled an hour each way from his upper valley home in Ojai to Cal State Channel Islands a few miles off Ventura County’s expansive coastline. Reyes arranged his first two years of classes so he would only be on campus two days a week—a strategy that allowed him to avoid hundreds of dollars for semester parking permits.

Now a recent graduate, Reyes continues to advocate for cheaper parking for students—and for a change in a longstanding California State University fee structure that charges them disproportionately more to park than staff and faculty at Cal State.  “(Parking) is the fee that will never be waived for any student,” he says. “Why do we seem to push all of the revenue stresses on [them]?”

Today’s California college students graduate with an average of $20,000 in debt, more than previous generations, and studies show many struggle to afford food, housing and other basic needs. Transportation costs may not be the largest factor in that equation, but they can add up.

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