SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The University of California is proposing to raise tuition at its 10 campuses for the second consecutive year, a move it says will compensate for less funding from the state than officials expected at a time of record-high enrollment.
Many students have opposed the increase saying higher tuition puts too much burden on students already struggling to pay for their education.
The UC Board of Regents is expected to vote Wednesday on the proposed increase of $342, or 2.7 percent, in annual tuition and fees for the 2018-19 academic year.
If approved, the cost for California residents who currently pay $12,630 in tuition and fees a year would increase to $12,972.
Out-of-state students would pay an additional $978, or an increase of 3.5 percent, bringing their total for annual tuition and fees to $28,992.
The regents approved a similar increase last January, the first increase since 2011.
Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a 3 percent increase in base funding for the UC system in his 2018-19 budget plan, down from a 4 percent increase in previous years. He also urged university officials to “live within their means.”
UC President Janet Napolitano said the 3 percent increase is less than anticipated under the plan agreed to with the governor. She said in a statement that UC was committed to its plan to add 2,000 California undergraduates and 500 graduate students in fall 2018.
“The campuses have asked for this increase because they need it at a time when California undergraduate enrollment is at an all-time high,” UC spokeswoman Claire Doan said. The additional revenue from tuition increases would go toward hiring more faculty members, creating new courses and funding additional mental health services, she said.
Doan said increased financial aid would cover the higher costs for roughly 100,000 students, more than half of the system’s 180,000 California resident undergraduates, who already pay no tuition.
The UC Student Association has collected nearly 3,000 signatures in an online petition against the tuition hike, said student organizer Maxwell Lubin.
Lubin was one of nearly two dozen students who spoke out at Wednesday’s meeting, ahead of the scheduled vote, to urge the regents to reject the increase or at least to delay their vote until later this year. The final vote on the state budget will be held in June.
“For the UC to commit to a tuition hike before the UC budget is even set, makes no sense,” Lubin, a graduate student at UC Berkeley.
Others students who spoke included a single mother, a child of Vietnamese immigrants who was the first in his family to attend college, and a middle-class student who does not receive financial aid. They said they’re already struggling to afford tuition and pay for rent, textbooks and groceries and the higher cost of tuition could force them to drop out.