Student Regent: Tuition to Rise Soon

    Stein, who visited UCSD as part of a fall tour of UC campuses with Student Regent-designate Cynthia Flores, told a crowd of around 20 students that California state divestment from UC funding has led to tuition increases and cuts to staff, services and classes.

    “This is a multi-decade process of [California] pulling money from the University of California,” he said. “In the 2011-12 academic year, student fees accounted for a larger part of UC funding than state funding did.”

    If Prop. 30 is not passed by California voters on Nov. 6, a trigger cut of $250 million will automatically be made to both the UC and California State University systems. To close the budget gap that the cuts will leave, UC tuition would likely rise—which in turn would trigger a penalty cut of $125 million. The state government has pledged $125 million in funding for both the UC and CSU systems if they don’t raise tuition in 2012-13.

    Stein said that if Prop. 30 fails, UC tuition will rise 20 percent beginning in January before subsequent increases in the following years. According to Stein, UC tuition will likely rise over the next three years regardless of Prop. 30’s fate. Stein estimates that student tuition fees will rise around 5 percent for each of the next three years if 30 passes, and around 15 percent if it fails. At that rate, tuition fees alone could reach $24,000 per year by 2015.

    With the annual 5-percent increases, tuition would hover around $15,000 a year in 2015. Currently, tuition fees stand at $13,218.

    Stein said that the UC Regents were considering a number of other moves to limit the rapid rise of tuition and close growing budget gaps. Suggestions include restructuring the financial aid process, increasing out-of-state student enrollment and creating more ways for students to earn credit and graduate faster.

    “These are just Band-Aids on fatal wounds for the UC system,” he said at the presentation, which was held in the Student Services Center. Stein also said he wanted to make clear that he was not advocating for Prop. 30’s passage as Student Regent, but was educating students on the consequences of its failure.

    On Friday, a report issued by aroundthecapitol.com showed that Prop. 30 has 49.5 percent favorability with 8.8 percent of the electorate undecided. That statistic is an average of several major polling agencies.

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