UC proposes 5% tuition hikes
LOS ANGELES – It’s been four years since University of California Regents leaders proposed tuition hikes to cover rising costs.
The leaders proposed increasing tuition as much as 5% each year for five years, according to Los Angeles Times.
Tuition for undergraduates who are also California residents could expect to pay $12,804. The cost doesn’t include room, board and books. By 2020, the cost could rise to over $15,000.
The proposal expected to be released Thursday, suggests the money would cover retirement benefits, pay increases for employee contract settlements and hire more faculty. UC system plans to increase the number of California undergraduates by 5,000.
UC system President Janet Napolitano told the Times, the current tuition freeze has lasted three years and can not continue.
“The three-year hiatus was about as long as was wise,” said Napolitano, who became UC president just over a year ago after serving as U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona governor.
Napolitano said tuition hikes could be reduced or even eliminated in all or some of the years if state funding for UC rises above the 4% annual increases currently anticipated. But a major hurdle is the opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown, who objects to the hikes.
If the state doesn’t increase its UC spending, Napolitano said, she wanted to provide the 10-campus university and its 238,400 students a more dependable, longer-range and moderate schedule of increases. This comes in contrast to the steeper and erratic hikes imposed on students before tuition was frozen for the last three years, she said.
A debate and vote on the proposal is planned for November 19-20 in San Francisco.
Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins released the following statement regarding the increased tuition proposal.
“I am opposed to the threatened fee increases and will vote against them at the November meeting of the Board of Regents. With Cal Grant restorations and the Middle Class Scholarship, the Assembly has taken the lead on making college more affordable for California families, so it is disturbing to see students used as leverage in budget negotiations.”