UC Tuition Could Increase by $822

Next Tuesday, the UC Board of Regents will vote on whether to pass an 8-percent fee increase. The increase was proposed by UC President Mark G. Yudof in an open letter to California on Nov. 8. If approved, the fees will be implemented in the 2011-12 academic year.

Yudof’s proposal would raise the UC system’s fees by $822, bringing them from $10,302 to $11,124. He also proposed that student service fees increase by $72 to become $972. 

Last November, the Regents approved a heavily protested 32-percent student fee increase that was implemented in two phases. Fees increased by $585 during Spring Quarter 2010 and $1,344 this fall, though services fees were not affected. Then-Student Regent Jesse Bernal was the sole dissenting vote.

Yudof said the fee increases are necessary to ensure the university’s survival. 

“I don’t increase fees lightly,” he said in an news briefing in Oakland, Calif. on Monday. “But we need to do what we need to do so the greatest public university in the world continues along its historic trajectory in serving the people of California.”

Yudof’s proposal also outlines an expanded financial aid plan. He said a third of the revenue from fee increases, or about $116 million, would be used for financial aid. Under the plan, families with annual income under $80,000 will have all fees paid by the university. Families with income under $120,000 will not pay fees for the first year the increases are implemented. This means that 45 percent of the university’s 181,000 students will pay  these additional fees. UC Berkeley senior Sameer Khan, chair of the university’s student-based Council of Student Fees, called the proposal “intolerable” in a statement released Monday.

“The administration must find another way to fund the university, as students and their parents are shouldering too big of a financial burden already,” he wrote. “Despite the negative impact of any form of fee increase, the added funds in the student service fee may potentially allow each campus to cut fewer of the services that are vital to students.”

A.S. Vice President of External Affairs Michael Lam is planning a protest to be held at the Chancellor’s Complex on Nov. 18.

“Students have the power when we come together,” Lam said.