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UC President Has New Proposal to Help Low Income Students

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Aired 4/19/09

The head of the University of California system is hoping to convince more low income students that they can afford the schools.  He's proposing some additional financial aid to help with fees.  Jenny O'Mara reports.

UC President Mark Yudof will present his proposal called the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan to the Board of Regents next month. It would help cover system wide academic fees for students whose incomes are below $60,000, which is the median for California households. 

They would also need to qualify for need-based financial aid. Yudof says such students receive many types of help to cover other costs.  But he says he's concerned that news of fee increases discourages many potential students.

Yudof: "For the average person they see the price increase, they turn to each other and say you know I don't think we should even give this a shot…"

Yudof says given California's budget problems-an upcoming fee increase is likely-but how much and when  has not been determined. 

The estimated $3 million annual cost of his proposal would be covered with funds set aside from fee increases.  UC officials say system-wide fees run around $7000 a year-each campus adds on fees that vary by location.

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