UC Regents to Consider Raising Fees

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Correction Appended

Next Wednesday, the UC Board of Regents is set to discuss possible budget changes for this academic year and next, including possible student fee increases.

To stabilize finances, the board has proposed a mid-year fee increase of 7.5 percent for the spring semester. By the next school year, undergraduate and graduate students could see an increase of 32 percent from this fall, totaling $10,302 for resident undergraduates.

The changes are intended to address about $368 million in mandatory costs left unfunded by the state for the 2009-10 school year. These costs will increase by an estimated $218 million by the 2010-11 school year.

A memo from the UC Office of the President recognized the "severe" consequences that have already taken place due to budget cuts. These include layoffs, hiring freezes, increased class sizes and elimination of programs across all ten campuses.

Other actions under consideration for the 2010-11 year include reducing in the number of California residents accepted as freshmen, ending the furlough and salary reduction plan by next August and setting aside a portion of the revenue from increased fees for financial aid.

The intent behind providing more money to financial aid is to lessen the impact that increased fees will have on those with financial need, according to the memo. Of the additional money created by increased undergraduate fees, 33 percent would be set aside for financial aid. In addition, half of all revenue coming from increased graduate academic fees, as well as 33 percent of increased professional fees, would go toward financial aid funds.

"The university wants to continue its commitment ... to financially needy students," said UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez.

According to Vazquez, the feedback from Wednesday's meeting will influence a budget proposal that is expected to be brought forward in November.

Correction: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that proposed student fee increases would total $10,302 per semester for resident undergraduates. In fact, the proposal states that fees would total $10,302 for the 2010-11 school year.

The Daily Californian regrets the error.

Contact Emma Anderson at [email protected]

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