UCSD students protest 5% tuition hike proposal

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LA JOLLA, Calif. --  Hundreds of UC San Diego students protested Tuesday at the La Jolla campus to protest a tuition hike proposal -- an action being mirrored at other University of California campuses.

The local so-called “Day of Action Against the UC Tuition Plan'' event started at 11:30 a.m. in front of UCSD's Geisel Library and participants dressed in black.

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On Wednesday, the UC Board of Regents is scheduled to consider a proposal that would raise annual tuition 5 percent over the next five years, which would make it more than $15,000 by 2019. UC officials have said that the hike is necessary to help offset higher pension and salary costs, as well as to help recruit more in-state students.

"This means I’m going to go into more debt, this means my little sister who comes after me is going to go into even more debt," said Graciela Uriarte, one of several students who organized the mass protest.

"It will definitely affect the first years the most, because it will go up every single year and that adds up," said Jacob Gagrin, first year student."

Adding on campus housing, meals, transportation and other miscellaneous costs, a total cost of education averages out to about $33,000 a year.  By the time a student graduates, they will have paid about $133,000 for 4 years at a UC institution.  This is compared to $119,000 currently.

"It's hard for us to like get financial aid and if the tuition hikes go up it will make it even worse," said Gagrin.   "We we work hard to get into this university and then if tuition increases, it will make it harder to stay in the university."

"It's absolutely horrible that they're actually trying to increase our tuition out of nowhere .  They  promised 5 years at least," said Anali Valdez, second year student.  "From 2005 to 2020, tuition is going to have risen by 287 percent.  That's insane."

Valdez said she's not only worried about herself, but also future generations.
"What about all your siblings?   Your cousins that are going to come here?" said Anali, adding it's not only about education, but also dreams.
"[Regents] is hurting my dreams.  I don't know even how I'm going to follow my education, school or continue to come here if tuition increases," said Valdez.  "So many students are going to be pushed out of the university.  Not dropping out, pushed out.​"

Gov. Jerry Brown also opposes the proposed hike.

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