A tuition increase of 9.6 percent at all University of California campuses was approved by the UC Board of Regents on Thursday in San Francisco.
UC regents are the second governing body of higher education in California to raise tuition this week. The California State University board of trustees approved a 12 percent tuition increase Tuesday at its meeting in Long Beach.
The increase approved Thursday is the second such hike the UC system has seen in eight months. An 8 percent increase was approved by regents in November.
California residents enrolled as undergraduates at any of the 10 UC campuses will pay $12,192 in tuition.
Mandatory campus fees will bring the total to $13,218 per year starting this fall.
Alex Jreisat, 22, a student at UCLA, said this will only add to his total debt.
“It makes it more difficult to go to school,” he said outside the meeting, wearing a Buzz Light year costume. “I’ve already had to give up some of my academic dreams and drop a minor because it’s just not feasible.”
Jreisat drove more than six hours Wednesday with more than 20 students dressed as Disney characters — including Captain America, Snow White and even Tinkerbell — to express their anger that Regent Monica Lozano voted to increase tuition while the Walt Disney Co., whose board she also sits on, receives millions of dollars in state tax breaks.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom attended both the UC regents and the CSU trustee meetings to urge the boards to vote against the increases because, he said, they will negatively impact the middle class.
“We’re losing quality and we’re pricing out people,” he said.
The increase, however, will only cover 26.3 percent of the system’s shortfall. The UC system received a $650 million cut in the state budget approved in June, bringing the deficit to more than $1 billion.
“I’ll be voting regretfully in favor so that we’re not putting our institution at risk today,” Regent Sherry Lansing said.
If the state does not meet its projected revenue, higher education might face an additional $100 million cut by the end of the calendar year.
UC system tuition increases in the past two years:
- November 2009: 32 percent fee increase approved
- Spring semester 2010: Costs $8,373 to attend school
- Fall semester 2010: Costs $10,302 to attend school
- November 2010: Tuition increases by $822
- Fall 2011 projected cost: $11,124
- July 14, 2011: 9.6 percent tuition increase approved
- Fall semester 2011: Will cost $12,192 to attend school
- November 2011: 5.9 percent increase on the table if state revenue does not materialize
Source: University of California