Going to school at Harvard University is cheaper than attending a public university in California.
According to the Bay Area News Group, a "family of four -- married parents, a high-school senior and a 14-year-old child -- making $130,000 a year," with typical financial aid, would pay around $17,000 for tuition, room and board and other expenses if their child went to Harvard. However, if their child attended a Cal State, they would pay $24,000. Going to the University of California, Santa Cruz, would cost around $33,000; at UC Berkeley, it would be about $19,500.
Other Ivy League schools, including Yale University and Princeton University, offer similar financial scenarios.
"It does sort of put you in an awkward spot," Dean Kulju, financial-aid director of the 400,000-student Cal State system, said. Cal State has double their tuition since 2007, the Bay Area News Group reported.
California's public universities lost more than $1 billion in support from the state in a round of 2011-12 cuts. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced in December, another $300 million would unexpectedly be cut from higher education because revenues were coming in below projections.
Since 2009, public universities in the state have lost $2 billion and community colleges have had $695 million cut from their budgets.
According to the Government Accountability Office, both public universities throughout the country have increasingly relied on tuition for funding as states have dropped support.
Over the past three years, students have been holding protests in California against tuition hikes that have been as high as 32 percent in some cases.
Students are planning to demonstrate at the state capitol in Sacramento Monday, calling for a millionaire's tax to help fund public higher education.