A six-year freeze in tuition costs at the University of California has come to an end. This week, the board of regents voted to increase what students are paying by 2.5 percent for the 2017-18 academic year. That means in-state undergraduate students will be paying $11,502 in tuition and non-resident students will be looking at $28,014.
As the L.A. Times reports, the regents have been trying to avoid raising the tuition costs and fees for students, but ultimately voted 16 to 4 to make the change. They cited, in particular, that class sizes have been swelling and resources are overtaxed. While the university system went into serious budget mode after the worst of the recession hit, managing to keep things together through cost-cutting and reforms, it has been tough to sustain.
“Our resources are strained to the limits,” the University’s chief financial officer, Nathan Brostrom, said at the public meeting before the vote was held.
Two-thirds of in-state UC undergrads receive some amount of financial aid, and those 175,500 students will be shielded from the increase in the short term as their aid will cover the increases.
Funding supplied by the California state budget has plunged, from $19,100 per student back in 1990 to just $7,160 in the 2016-17 academic year. Dissenters who argued against the tuition increase—including 2018 gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom who is an ex officio UC regent—argued that raising costs for students was taking it too easy on the state and that they should instead be focusing on restoring public funding to the school system.
“By doing the legislature’s and governor’s work finding revenue, we’ve let them off the hook,” Newsom told the Times.
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