UC tuition to rise next year


Wynne Zhang, Graphics Edior

University of California students have voiced their outrage with protests across the state since proposed tuition hikes were announced late last month.

UC President Janet Napolitano introduced a plan for tuition increases over the next five years. Tuition and fees would increase up to 5 percent per year for in-state as well as out-of-state students.

The tuition increase is due to insufficient funding of the 10 UC campuses.

The Daily Californian News blog stated that current funding from the state is $460 million less than what it was eight years ago.

With tuition currently at $12,192 annually, there would be an anticipated $612 increase resulting in an increase to $12,804 next year. In an article on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website,  Nanette Asinov wrote that additional mandatory fees of more than $1,000 would bring the annual price tag to about $14,000.

By the 2019-2020 school year, base tuition would be $15,564.

As a response to the hikes, hundreds of angry students have rallied at UC campuses. While more than 100 UC Berkeley students occupied Wheeler Hall before and during the UC Board of Regent’s meeting to discuss the hikes on Nov. 20, dozens of UCLA students protested in front of Powell Library, and more than 150 UC Irvine students staged a sit-in in front of the university’s administration building.

“As a public institution, their priority should be to provide accessible education for everyone,” said UC Berkeley freshman Caleb Wang.

Students who wish to attend UC schools are unhappy about the tuition hikes as well.

“That’s really stupid, you might as well go out of state,” said senior Jarryl Oquias.

Since the UCs are a public university system, students are frustrated that tuition will cost more.

“It’s not even a private school,” said senior Angel Duan. “Going to college is already expensive enough.”

But the tuition hikes may not be as drastic as stated.

“It is important to note that the increase might be less than 5 percent -or eliminated -depending on the level of state support,” wrote Napolitano and Regent member Bruce D. Varmen in an article for the Sacramento Bee.

The UC’s Board of Regents, comprising 26 governing members, approved Napolitano’s plan on Nov. 20 and are prepared to impose the tuition hikes unless the state devotes more money to the UC system.

Their decision would challenge Governor Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 passed in 2012 that froze tuition hikes for three years.As a result of the projected increases, tuition plans have been proposed by the state legislature.

The state senate proposed a bill on Dec. 2 to give the UC and CSU systems $75 million each, reward CSU students who are on track to graduate in four years with up to $4,500, and  help fund the Middle Class Scholarship Program.

The bill also plans to increase UC enrollment by 5,000 and CSU enrollment by 10,000 next year, as well as eliminate the 5 percent UC tuition hike and repeal a 11 percent cut in Cal Grants for private colleges.

Similarly, a state assembly proposal in December called for the UC fee and tuition hikes to be cancelled, to cap the out-of-state enrollment at current levels but expand in-state enrollment at UCs by 2,000 students per year for five years, and increase UC and CSU funding by $150 million while accelerating the Middle Class Scholarship plan.