University Of California Regents Approve 8 Percent Student Fee Hike

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP /BCN) — The cost of a University of California education is going up again, but fewer students will pay the full sticker price.

By a 15-5 vote Thursday, the UC Board of Regents approved a plan to raise undergraduate tuition by 8 percent next fall while offering more financial aid.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Student fees for California residents will increase by $822 to $11,124, which doesn’t include individual campus fees or room and board.

The move came after the 10-campus system increased undergraduate fees by more than 30 percent over the past year to offset deep cuts in state funding that led to staff furloughs, fewer course sections and reduced student enrollment.

“Ultimately, our role is to face this reality and preserve this university and the quality of this university,” board chairman Russell Gould said. “We have a structural problem at the state level. They have not been able to provide us the support necessary to sustain this university.”

The regents also voted Thursday to raise fees for graduate students in more than 40 professional degree programs, including business, law and medicine. Fees for seven of those programs will increase more than 10 percent.

The hearing was held a day after a student protest over rising college costs turned violent, leaving four police officers injured and leading to the arrests of 13 demonstrators outside the meeting site.

There were no protests at Thursday’s meeting, but several students spoke against the tuition hike.

“Working families are going to be bearing the brunt of this with student debt,” UC Berkeley law student Sonja Diaz told the regents.

Last week, the Board of Trustees for the 23-campus California State University system voted to raise tuition by 5 percent for the winter and spring terms, and another 10 percent next fall, when undergrads will pay $4,884 annually.

The UC fee hike approved Thursday will generate an estimated $180 million in annual revenue, with about one-third of that money used for financial aid.

The 10-campus system will expand its so-called Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which guarantees that financially needy students from families earning less than $80,000 a year will not have to pay any tuition. The program currently covers families who make less than $70,000.

Students with family income under $120,000 a year won’t have to pay the tuition hike for one year. University officials estimated about 55 percent of the UC system’s 181,000 undergrads won’t have to pay the increased fees next year.

UC officials said the hike was needed to maintain student enrollment, courses and services while preventing layoffs and the elimination of academic programs.

University President Mark Yudof said UC remains a bargain in higher education, costing less than public institutions such as the University of Michigan and private schools such as Stanford University, which charges annual tuition of $38,700.

“It’s a great buy,” Yudof said. “We have a fabulous financial aid package, the best in the country.”

The increase didn’t receive unanimous praise from regents, however.

Charlene Zettel, Darek DeFreece, Odessa Johnson, student Regent Jesse Cheng, and Lt. Gov. Abel Maldanado voted no on the tuition hike.

“Have we exhausted everything before we increase fees on students? In my heart I don’t feel that we have,” Maldonado said, adding in regards to UC staff salaries, “If raising fees is our only choice, are we going to cut at the top, too?”
Regent Eddie Island said, “The time I’ve been on the board, if we enact this increase, fees will have increased 50 percent. Shame on us.”

He said, “What we are doing is accelerating the velocity toward the destruction of something that we all hold dear.”

The regents also discussed a plan to reform its employee pension system, which faces a massive unfunded liability. The board is expected to vote on a proposal at a special meeting next month.

Under the plan, UC would create a new tier of pension benefits for employees hired on or after July 1, 2013. The minimum retirement age would rise from 50 to 55, and the age to receive maximum benefits would increase from 60 to 65.

The state has increased funding to the UC system by $370 million for 2010-11, but that amounts to a little more than half what the state cut the previous year, officials said.

They added that the university system receives 10 percent less state funding than it did three years ago, even though 16,000 more students are enrolled.

UC officials warned that the university will likely face more financial challenges as the state seeks to tackle a projected $25.4 million budget shortfall over the next 19 months.

“Let’s be clear. The university is not out of the woods,” Gould said.

At a news conference after the meeting, Yudof said officials would be looking into tuition raises as part of a long-term policy.

“You can’t look at the last 30 years and be at all confident you’re ever going to avoid a fee increase,” he said.

Yudof said students and others inflamed by the increase should write their local senators and congressmen. He and several regents said all options had been explored, but an 8 percent tuition raise was one of the only ways to provide relief to a budget shortfall of about $1 billion.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • True Americans are not Liberals

    Well of course the fees for paying students/parents are going up – who else is going to pay for all the illegal resident students. Only in California…sheesh.

  • Joe W

    Yesterday I heard Holly Quan interviewing a young lady who was recruited by Brown, decided to go to UCSC instead, and now spends every day pining for Brown.

    Rather than arousing my outrage at what the cost of going to a UC campus will be, the bit merely served to pique my interest as to what the comparative costs actually are. I readily admit that I don’t have much sympathy for “I can’t go to the university because you charge me too much” whining, but here are the facts I found. (I’ve tried to keep my editorializing to a minimum).

    The UC web site lists 2010-11 the expenses for an undergraduate as $11,285 “fees” (We can’t have tuition, remember?); adding books, health fees, room & board and personal transportation brings the total to $29,450 for a student living off campus. OK, add 8% if you want, and go ahead and do it across the board – that makes UC’s cost $31,806 for 2010-11.

    According to Brown University’s web site, their tuition alone is $39,928 for the year 2010-11. They add $11,342 “room, board and required fees,” for a 2010-11 total of $51,270. As far as I can tell, that doesn’t include books & supplies or personal transportation. Even if we pretend it does, that’s around a $19,500 premium, to attend a lesser university.

    If that arithmetic buffaloes her, what’s the young lady doing at UC, anyway? We should encourage her go to Brown and give the place she’s taking up to somebody who understands that UC is the greatest university in the world and wants to be here.

    …Now, I don’t live in Providence, and I don’t have any inclination to do the research, so my (unsupported) opinion is that since Providence is reported to be a little cooler than Santa Cruz for several months of the year, one might be prudent to factor in a few shekels for winter clothes.

    an Old Blue

    • davey

      Only people in California thinks the UC are great, wrong..the only one is UCB. The rest is equal to CSU, except CSU SLO which is almost as good as UCB.

  • John K

    Brown is Ivy League. UCSC is a mediocre school at best. According to US News and World Report rankings Brown is 15 and UCSC is 72. I can’t believe someone would even apply to UCSC and Brown. To say that it’s a lesser university is laughable. I can’t even believe someone would apply to both.

    • Matt M

      I applied to both and got in to both. I chose University of California (albeit Berkeley).

  • Mommy & Daddy Scholarship

    A hefty majority of California Anglo and Asian American students at Cal (to say nothing of the ever-increasing foreign student populace) don’t have to concern themselves with fee hikes; they are already getting a free ride from parents who foot their tuition bill. This is the unspoken but apparent truth – and NO ONE will either admit to it or talk about it. It’s no wonder there isn’t any sort of formidable protest for a fee hike of which many students will never concern themselves.

  • At "Mommy & Daddy Scholarships"

    What a whiny SOB. Where do you think the money for these “scholarships” come from???? A money tree in the backyard??? Obviously some parents have the foresight and conviction to plan and fund their children’s future education, if you didn’t have one of those parents….you know where to put the blame. And no, most working class families don’t have oodles of money, it usually required sacrifices and tough decisions on the part of the parents. And in many cases, putting a child through college, took family effort…..which meant all working members of the family contribute to paying the tuition. Free ride my arse….. Take your myopic, Anglo and Asian American stereotypical B.S. and get a clue. Someone pays and it’s usually through the blood and sweat of the parents. Does the blood and sweat of the parents mean nothing? What a pathetic “what’s in it for me” generation.
    One more thing, protests don’t work, it assumes that the regents give a flying f about you. They don’t. On the other hand, flooding your representatives with calls for legislative action and voting them out of office if they won’t intervene can’t hurt. Yet, the same a_ _ holes get voted back into office every time. Simply amazing. And no, you don’t vote for the regents but you do for the CA legislature and Governor who can affect funding, accounting, audits and transparency. To control the regents, you must control Sacramento.

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