UC regents to vote on nonresident tuition increase, drawing student criticism

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The UC Board of Regents will be voting on a $762 increase to nonresident tuition at its May meeting in San Francisco, a proposition that has drawn criticism from students systemwide.

Because of mixed opinions on the board, the regents tabled the vote on the tuition increase during their March meeting to allow more time to explore other sources of funding. According to the upcoming meeting’s agenda, the regents will vote on the increase to undergraduate nonresident tuition on May 16.

“I am fundamentally against the tuition increase because I believe international and out-of-state residents already pay enough for this university,” said ASUC Senator Andy Theocharous in an email.

Nonresident tuition is $42,900, which is more than triple the $13,900 that California resident students pay.

State funding for the UC system has dropped from approximately 32 percent of the UC’s budget in 1974 to approximately 16 percent in 2005.

“This tuition hike will only make this campus more difficult to attend. People will choose not to come (to UC schools) and take their talent elsewhere,” said ASUC Senator Anna Whitney in an email. “This will mean a less diverse and enriching environment for resident students.”

ASUC External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay has organized a Facebook event to encourage UC Berkeley students to make public comments during the meetings. According to the event page, students are planning to attend public comment on May 15 and 16 from 7 to 10 a.m.

According to Khalfay, UC Berkeley students have also been collaborating with students from the other UC campuses to make their voices heard. In addition to collecting written testimonies that will be submitted to the regents, students from UCLA, UC Merced, UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz will be present during the upcoming meetings’ public comment period.

“We’re organizing students for public comment to give regents an understanding of how this will affect students in a very real way,” Khalfay said.

The $762 nonresident tuition increase could accrue revenue to cover the UC’s $30 million budget deficit.

“The UC system always seems to be in need of more funding, though. However, it is of my opinion that this burden should not be placed on students,” said ASUC Senator Anne Zepecki in an email.

Contact Andreana Chou at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AndreanaChou.