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UC Regents Hear Plan That Includes More Tuition Hikes

This story has been corrected.

— University of California Regents are considering a multi-year budget plan that would fill future budget shortfalls with fundraising and tuition increases.

Students gather at the Price Center located in the center of the UCSD campus.
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Above: Students gather at the Price Center located in the center of the UCSD campus.

Under the proposal no increase in state contributions to the system over the next four years would trigger tuition increases of 16 percent each of those years. If those increases took place, a year's tuition at the University of California would cost about $22,000 a year before additional campus fees, housing or textbook costs were factored in.

Regents discussed the proposal Thursday, but will not vote on it until November.

Staff said the plan will provide stability for campus planning and for families budgeting for their child’s education.

That forecasting increases would help students is an idea Alyssa Wing, president of Associated Students at UC San Diego, rejects.

“While you may have the good intentions of helping students plan forward, this plan doesn’t necessarily prepare students because student and family income – they’re not increasing at the rate our fees are increasing,” she said on KPBS' Midday Edition Thursday afternoon.

Regents like Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said they support bringing financial stability to the system with a multi-year plan, but want to find other ways to fill the projected shortfalls.

“I reject its conclusions," Newsom said. "I mean – I will not support something that puts us on the path that we’re going to settle this on the backs of the students.”

One hope for the proposal is that the stark reality of the system’s financial needs will convince legislators to restore state support cut over the last five years.

Sherry Lansing, another regent, agreed presenting the stark reality was important.

"But I also do not want to accept that reality," she said. She called on University of California President Mark Yudof to assign each regent to a working group that would seek other solutions to the system's long-term budget concerns before the current multi-year plan is discussed again in November.

Regents also heard a presentation on the system's economic impact on the state's economy. That report estimates 1 in ever 46 Californians owe their employment directly to the University of California system. The report was discussed as another tool to convince legislators that cutting funding to public universities will undermine the state in the long run.

This story has been corrected. It originally stated that undergraduate tuition at Stanford University is about $26,600 this year. Undergraduates will pay about $40,000 for tuition at Stanford this year.

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