Students discuss tuition hike before UC Board of Regents vote July 22

photo of Sproul Hall
Sunny Shen/File
The UC Board of Regents' meeting July 22 will discuss nonresident supplemental tuition, among other issues. Some argue that this proposal will decrease diversity, inclusivity and equity.

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A proposal to increase tuition, the Student Services Fee and nonresident supplemental tuition will be discussed at the UC Board of Regents’ next meeting July 22.

For the cohort of students enrolling in the 2022-23 academic year, the increase will take into account inflation and a 2% increase from the tuition of the prior class. Additions to tuition over inflation will continue and gradually decrease over time until tuition for classes entering 2026 and later will only adjust for the rate of inflation. 

It will use the average annual inflation over a rolling three-year period and cap each year-to-year increase at 6%, according to the board.

For each cohort, tuition and fees will remain the same for six years, according to Stett Holbrook, senior communications strategist for the UC Office of the President. The proposal says that the plan would give UC campuses resources to maintain the quality of education for future, more diverse generations of Californians, in addition to tuition stability and financial aid for students.

Josh Lewis, chair of Government Relations for the UC Student Association, alleged in an email that as a result of the cohort model, “every single year UC will become less financially accessible than the last.” He said because the proposal doesn’t require UC Berkeley to reapprove the tuition raises, it is a “forever hike.”

As a nonresident student, ASUC External Affairs Vice President Riya Master believes the proposal disproportionally affects nonresident students. She said the proposal will increase tuition by a couple of thousand dollars for residents and $10,000 for nonresidents.

Master criticized the proposal’s return to aid policy, which asserts that tuition increases will be given back to students in the form of financial aid. Lewis added that nonresidents, certain undocumented students, financially independent students and other vulnerable communities will suffer the cost without the support of increased aid.

“No matter what type of argument you try to make on a return to aid, on giving part of that money back into Student Services, an increase in tuition does not help students,” Master said. 

According to Master, the proposal will “completely defeat the purpose of what a public school is” and decrease diversity, inclusivity and equity once wealthy students are the only ones who can afford to attend the university.

For Master, she hopes the proposal is voted against and tuition begins to decrease. She believes her ideals are not unrealistic and said she encourages others to take advantage of the power they have as students before the hikes never end.

“You come to school and you should be taken care of,” Master said. “Your job here is to grow as a student, your job here is to learn. You shouldn’t be having to fight tooth and nail for your basic needs and for your ability to eat and stay here.”

Lewis and Master encouraged students to speak up and advocate for incoming classes, younger siblings and future diversity of thought at the upcoming board meeting.

Contact Andie Liu at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @andiemliu.