Public Comment

Press Release: UC Students Oppose Tuition Hikes and Call on UC to Absorb Cuts and Seek New Revenue

By Darius L. Kemp, Director of Organizing and Communications University of California Student Association
Wednesday July 13, 2011 - 12:18:00 PM

Oakland, CA – This Thursday, the UC Regents are set to vote on a 9.6% overall increase to mandatory student fees and a 10.5% increase to tuition specifically. This increase is on top of the 8% increase already approved for 2011-2012, which means a roughly 19% total tuition increase. Such a large increase in a single year will have a devastating impact on access and affordability and the UC Student Association is strongly opposed.  

Students have been hit too hard in too short a period of time and should not be expected to cover the entirety of the additional $150 million budget cut from the state. Students have felt the impact of deep cuts over the past few years and continue to pay more for less with classes, departments, services and faculty all being slashed. “Students reject the approach taken by the UC Regents, which has presented an increase to student fees as the only available option to address the entire additional cut from the state. In light of the continuous annual fee increases in recent years, UC Office of the President and UC Regents should make every effort to absorb the additional $150 million cut,” said Claudia Magana, UC Student Association President and 3rd year student at UC Santa Cruz.  

The proposed increase also includes a 5.6% mid-year “trigger” increase that will occur automatically if the UC faces further cuts. This would set a dangerous precedent whereby budget cuts are passed on directly to students without a full discussion or consideration of all relevant factors and alternatives. Further, the proposal includes a 9.6% increase to both tuition and the Student Services Fee, yet all of the funds generated from the increase will go towards tuition. The result is that the tuition itself is increasing 10.5% and students are concerned that this is not being framed to public in a transparent manner.  

Students also have additional concerns about aspects of this proposal. While students from families that make under $120,000 a year are protected from this increase in 2011-12, there is no plan to protect them from a larger cumulative increase in fees in 2012-13 and beyond. Also in the proposal, students are required to pay a surcharge that covers the cost accrued to cover the Kashmiri lawsuit, which is unacceptable and should be rescinded.  

“Students recognize the difficult financial situation the UC system is in and the failure of the state to provide adequate support. For this reason, the UC Regents must work collaboratively with students in advocating for innovative and forward thinking revenue solutions to support higher education. The Regents cannot simply pass this burden onto students and their families through endless fee increases,” said Claudia Magana, UCSA President and 3rd year student at UC Santa Cruz. 


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