Campus students disappointed by potential tuition hike

Hundreds of students gather on Sproul Plaza in November 2014 to protest the proposed tuition hikes ahead of a UC Regents meeting.
Michael Drummond/Senior Staff
Hundreds of students gather on Sproul Plaza in November 2014 to protest the proposed tuition hikes ahead of a UC Regents meeting.

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Despite protests of tuition hikes at the UC Board of Regents meeting in November, the UC Office of the President announced in a statement Wednesday that the regents have proposed a tuition increase for the 2017-18 academic year.

In its Wednesday press release, UCOP detailed the proposed annual tuition increase of $282 to cover costs related to improving student support, such as financial aid and counseling services. Several UC students, however, have expressed disappointment in response to the suggested hike.

ASUC Senator Anthony Carrasco, who identifies as a low-income first-generation student, said the UC system should spend money on providing more housing and food safety options to current students.

“It is not about the higher dimensions of classroom experiences,” Carrasco said. “Many of my constituents are able to do an outstanding amount in the classroom despite persevering through basic needs struggles (and) basic needs insecurity.”

He added that the UC campuses may see retention rates as well as enrollment rates drop from communities like the Latinx and Black communities. This viewpoint is shared by ASUC Senator Zaynab AbdulQadir, who noted that there are large amounts of students on campus who are currently struggling in the economic climate.

AbdulQuadir said the increase in tuition would likely prompt a hostile student response, referencing the 2014 protests against tuition hikes.  

UCOP spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in an email that two-thirds of California undergraduates would have the tuition increase covered by grants and scholarships, and that 57 percent of California undergraduates have all their tuition and fees covered by financial aid. He did not, however, mention the impact of the potential tuition increase on out-of-state students or international students.

“After a six-year tuition freeze that has coincided with significant enrollment growth and limited state funding, it’s critical for the university to invest in improving the student experience on campus and maintaining UC’s academic excellence,” Vazquez said in the email.

Jason Constantouros, a fiscal and policy analyst at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, said his office is still reviewing the press release but added that it is difficult to understand the numbers, as the latest UC budget report has yet to be released. He noted, however, that the LAO has proposed a new funding policy to the UC system numerous times, which would organize the increasing cost of education and call for specific percentages of that cost to be paid for by the state and by the students.

UC Student Association President Ralph Washington Jr. said the current UCSA board has been in conversation with the UC budget office regarding the possibility of tuition increase, and while he is uncertain about the ultimate outcome, he is optimistic.

“I think it’s imperative that students are participating directly in deciding how tuition dollars are spent,” Washington said. “If tuition is going to be increased, then students deserve the opportunity to dictate how that money is spent.”

Contact Sakura Cannestra at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.

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  • Kurt VanderKoi

    So you drank the Berkeley Kool Aid and are now disappointed by potential tuition hikes.

    Here are several options.

    Option 1: You cannot control tuition costs but you can control housing costs.
    Check out housing costs around:
    – Cal Poly http://www.calpoly.edu/
    – UC Merced http://www.ucmerced.edu/

    Option 2: You should check out distance online education and earn you degree from home or a low cost housing area.
    – Arizona State University https://asuonline.asu.edu/
    – Georgia Institute of Technology http://www.cc.gatech.edu/academics/degree-programs/masters/online-ms-cs
    – Many Others

    Options 3: Move to and become a resident in a different state where tuition and housing costs are lower.

  • roccolore

    I knew this would happen. These are the same liberals who are demanding free tuition for illegals.

  • dwss5

    Article quote:

    UCOP spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in an email that two-thirds of California undergraduates would have the tuition increase covered by grants and scholarships, and that 57 percent of California undergraduates have all their tuition and fees covered by financial aid. He did not, however, mention the impact of the potential tuition increase on out-of-state students or international students.

    Maybe the UC Board of Regents SHOULD DRASTICALLY increase the tuition for the many international students admitted to the UC system who come from some of the wealthier East Asian and Middle Eastern families.

  • rodeinonthebart

    There were huge protests back in 09 when the UC raised our tuitions 32%. Extra money from Prop 30 froze tuition increases for three years; we just voted to extend those taxes for 12 more years (Prop 55). Tuition and the privatization of the university were big factors in the Occupy Cal protests of 2011.

    “UCOP spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez said in an email that two-thirds of California undergraduates would have the tuition increase covered by grants and scholarships, and that 57 percent of California undergraduates have all their tuition and fees covered by financial aid.”

    This statistic makes it sound like 57% of people don’t have to worry about money while in college, which is clearly not true; there are other costs, particularly housing, that force students to work, which takes away time they could be using to study and take advantage of the other opportunities a liberal arts education opens up. The poor, the undocumented – these things always hurt them more. Always. Good people work for the university; they’re trying their best to serve students, particularly those least advantaged. One can appreciate this and still demand more – the state needs to fund the UC; the City needs more housing.