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UC announces ambitious fundraising campaign

October 23, 2009 | 11:00 am

As the University of California seeks to sharply increase student fees, its president, Mark G. Yudof, today announced plans to soften the impact with an ambitious campaign to raise $1 billion for financial aid and a policy change widening the aid eligibility for more middle-income families.

The 10 UC campuses have committed to raise the $1 billion in private funds for student aid over the next four years, Yudof said. That would be double the amount the system garnered for that purpose over the last five years.

UCFees4 The university also wants to expand an existing financial aid program that uses UC, federal and state grants to cover all basic education fees but not room and board for most students whose family incomes are $60,000 or below. Yudof says he will ask the Board of Regents to broaden that “Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan” to cover household incomes up to $70,000 to ensure that no academically qualified student is shut out.

That change would add about 800 students to full coverage of fees, officials estimate. The main goal is symbolic — to encourage high school students to apply to UC, officials said.

About half of UC’s 170,000 undergraduates receive some aid, and that averages $11,100 per student, according to university statistics. Many low-income students receive help with living costs, and some students with family incomes above $100,000 a year receive some fee aid depending on their household circumstances.

In response to reduced state funding, the UC regents next month are expected to vote on a proposal to raise undergraduate fees by $2,514 by next fall to $10,300. The cost of room, board, books and other expenses can add another $15,000 to annual bills.

—Larry Gordon

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