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UCSD Students Protest Tuition Hike Proposal

10News
UC San Diego students at a sit-in to protest a tuition hike proposal, Nov. 18, 2014.

UC San Diego students staged a sit-in Tuesday at the La Jolla campus to protest a tuition hike proposal — an action being mirrored at other University of California campuses.

The local so-called "Day of Action Against the UC Tuition Plan" took place late Tuesday morning in front of UCSD's Geisel Library. Students were protesting ahead of a UC Board of Regents vote on Wednesday on a proposal toraise annual tuition 5 percent in each the next five years, which would make it more than $15,000 by 2019.

UCSD student Anali Valdez said that if the increase is approved, it would mean a 287 percent tuition increase between 2002 and 2020.

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"That's insane," she told Fox 5.

UC officials maintain the hike is necessary to help offset higher pension and salary costs, as well as to help recruit more in-state students.

UC President Janet Napolitano said higher state funding could lessen the need for tuition increases.

"The investment per student by the state to the University of California is much lower than it has been in decades," she said.

Gov. Jerry Brown opposes the proposed hike, as does Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield, a former member of the UC Board of Regents and California State University trustee. Garamendi said the current proposal, combined with other recent draconian tuition increases, would "take us backwards."

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"When we price students out of an education, we rob them of an opportunity to reach their full potential," Garamendi said.

"I've met families who scrapped everything they could afford to send their first child to college, only to see the siblings denied their chance at their American dream," he said. "There is no greater cure to poverty than a good education. There's no easier way to tank an economy than to make a great state's universities inaccessible."