With the governor's signature this week, California college students from middle-income families will soon be in line for a tuition discount.
The state-funded Middle Class Scholarship will buffer tens of thousands of students from the University of California's and California State University's frequent and unpredictable fee hikes.
That's something for UC Santa Cruz student Ryan King to look forward to. He has worked many jobs and taken on a pile of debt to pay for his education — now $15,000 a year, not including room and board.
"There's been nothing for middle-income students to mitigate that tuition increase," King said. "The answer has always been loans — until now."
When the program begins in 2014 it will bring some relief to California's middle-class families who have watched helplessly in recent years as public tuition and fees have nearly doubled since 2007.