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UC students face possibility of additional 10% tuition hike

Budget-pressed University of California administrators confirmed Saturday that they will seek a nearly 10% tuition hike on top of an already scheduled 8% increase that will take effect this fall. Should UC regents approve the proposal, undergraduate tuition for California residents would increase by about another $1,100 to more than $12,200 annually, not including room, board and other campus-based fees.

The requested 9.6% tuition increase is intended to make up for a recent $150-million funding reduction outlined in a new state budget passed last week. The previous 8% tuition increase, along with a package of other spending cuts and austerity measures, was aimed at addressing an earlier announced $500-million cut in state support for the UC system, according to Patrick Lenz, the UC system's vice president for budget and capital resources.
  
The Times reported last week that a tuition hike of this size was imminent, and that the Cal State system was also likely to approve a tuition increase of between 10% and 15%.

The UC regents are to consider the 9.6% tuition hike proposal and other possible budget-related actions when they meet July 12-14 in San Francisco. The Cal State trustees are scheduled to meet July 12 in Long Beach.

“We reported to the Regents in May that if we were to receive additional cuts beyond $500 million, we would have to offset those cuts with a dollar-for-dollar tuition increase,” Lenz said in a prepared statement. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone -– implementing administrative efficiencies, furloughing and laying off employees, consolidating and eliminating programs, increasing class sizes, delaying faculty hires, reducing services and delaying purchases, among other actions.” He promised that additional financial aid would be made available to needy students across the 10-campus UC system.

UC has raised tuition in nine of the last 10 years, more than tripling the charge to undergraduates.  Graduate and professional school fees have grown even more in some cases. Student leaders say they will protest the tuition increase, saying that many students can barely afford the $822 rise set for the fall, let alone the additional $1,100.
 
The total reduction in state funding could rise to $750 million for each of the two state university systems if projected state revenues do not materialize.

-- Larry Gordon

 
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