Yudof Requests Approval of 8 Percent Fee Increase

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After weeks of rumors and speculation, UC President Mark Yudof announced this morning that he will ask the UC Board of Regents to approve an 8 percent hike in student fees to go into effect at the beginning of the next academic year, though only 45 percent of students will have to pay these higher fees for the first year thanks to an expansion in the UC's financial aid.

While systemwide fees will rise by $822 to $11,124, the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will be expanded, meaning families making less than $80,000 will not pay any fees. And in a new move, students coming from families making under $120,000 will not have to pay the 8 percent fee increase for the first year. Yudof said those two previsions mean that only 45 percent of the university's 181,000 students will see any increase.

"It's a catch your breath holiday," Yudof said. "The state is in financial trouble ... We're hoping families can catch up."

Nathan Brostrom, the UC's vice president for business operations, said the university chose to waive tuition for students coming from families making between $80,000 and $120,000 because this group pays the largest percentage of family income in fees to the university.

In a meeting with reporters, Yudof said he expects the university system to take a hit when the state legislature meets in the spring to fill a $12 billion budget hole, adding that though the state raised allocations to the university this year it will not be enough to cover rising mandatory costs which he estimated will be around $350 million in the next year.

Claudia Magana, president of the UC Student Association, released a statement criticizing the plan, saying it creates "a two-tier system that is still a fee increase anyway you package it."

"Legislators increased UC funding by $370 million this year to keep UC affordable and accessible," Magana said in the statement. "The fee hikes from last year bring in an additional $350 million. These combined increases more than make up the loss in revenue caused by decreases in state funding that started two years ago."


Javier Panzar is the lead higher education reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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