UC officials to meet with president of student group proposing alternate tuition model

The president of a UC Riverside student group proposing an alternative UC tuition model will meet with UC administrators in March to further discuss the proposal.

Chris LoCascio, who serves as president of the Fix UC group that is proposing a model for funding the UC with postgraduate income, will meet with members of the UC Office of the President financial team — including UC President Mark Yudof and UC Executive Vice President Nathan Brostrom — on March 2.

The plan proposed by Fix UC, called the UC Student Investment Proposal, would require graduates of the UC to pay 5 percent of their income upon entering a career after graduation for 20 years instead of paying tuition up front.

“In its current form, the proposal poses several problems, but the concept is worth looking at,” said UC spokesperson Steve Montiel. “It’s going be an exploration of some of the potential problems and some of the potential opportunities.”

LoCascio said in an email that he expects that the March meeting will primarily focus on how to establish a system for monitoring and collecting payments and on how the payment program could be implemented.

This will be the second time Fix UC representatives have met with UC officials.

LoCascio said in the email that he last met with Brostrom the day before the January  UC Board of Regents meeting to go over an initial version of the plan.

Since then, the group has made progress in creating alternative, potentially more workable versions of its proposal.

“We are now developing two additional models to our current fixed 5 percent model, one that is progressive and another that incorporates a low-income threshold for contributing and a cap on the maximum annual contribution,” LoCascio said in the email.

Even as UC officials and the members of Fix UC maintain a dialogue, many students continue to be unclear about what is actually being proposed, according to Kathryn Nelson, UC Riverside CalPIRG campus organizer.

“A lot of students don’t understand what the proposal is,” she said. “Right now, students just need to get more aware.”

Curan Mehra covers higher education.