UC Regents Approve Tuition Hike

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Friday May 08, 2009 - 06:29:00 PM

The UC Board of Regents Friday approved a 9.3 percent student fee increase for the 2009-10 school year, despite criticism from students about the high cost of tuition. 

In a 17-4 vote, the regents approved UC President Mark Yudof’s proposal to raise undergraduate and graduate fees to balance the budget, with regents John Garamendi, Eddie Island, Odessa Johnson and D’Artagan Scorza voting against the increases. 

A statement from campus officials said that the increase—$662 for resident undergraduates—is consistent with the fee hike the state expected UC to carry out as part of the state budget adopted in February, which left UC with a $450 million budget shortfall. 

During a press conference in March, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau acknowledged that the fee hike would have a significant impact on middle-income students. 

He said student fee increase was considered as a last resort and was just one of the actions the university and other UC campuses were taking to in response to budget cuts. 

Yudof said in a statement that the university had created a robust scholarship program this year to help families in need. 

“While there is never a right time for a fee increase, especially during an economic downturn when families are facing hardships and uncertainty, I want to reassure our students that this year we will have an extraordinary amount of additional financial resources available to cover the higher fees,” he said, explaining that a substantial increases in federal, state and university student aid and tax credits will ensure that “81 percent of UC undergraduates with incomes below $180,000 will have access to enough new resources to fully offset the fee increase.” 

For the Daily Planet’s earlier story on the fee increase, see the March 12 issue.