UC to adopt Tuition Stability Plan, concerning ASUC officials

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Anika Manchanda/Staff
The UC systemwide shift to the multiyear Tuition Stability Plan provides increased resources for financial aid, but is questioned by the ASUC in terms of equity for all students.

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This coming fall semester, there will be a UC systemwide shift to the Tuition Stability Plan for incoming undergraduate students.

The plan was approved by the UC Board of Regents in July 2021 and will be in effect for the next five years, according to a university report. The plan states that incoming undergraduates’ tuition upon entering UC Berkeley will remain the same price for up to six academic years. Tuition prices will be adjusted between yearly cohorts.

“Among other benefits, UC’s plan offers incoming students (including first-year and transfer students) from low-income backgrounds enhanced financial aid and affordability while also providing certainty that their cost of tuition will remain stable for up to six years at UC,” said UC Office of the President spokesperson Ryan King in an email.

In terms of currently enrolled undergraduate students, tuition and systemwide fees are expected to stay flat at present rates for the duration of their enrollment for up to six academic years, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff.

On the other hand, the tuition and fees for new and continuing graduate students will be adjusted annually based on inflation, Ratliff added.

Following the approval of the plan, there has been ongoing concern from ASUC officials, including ASUC External Affairs Vice President, or EAVP, Riya Master.

“If anything, it’s exactly what we were fighting against before in a neatly veiled, little, pink ribbon bow,” Master said. “Now we don’t even have any say in it for the next five years.”

Many groups of students fall through the cracks of this plan, such as middle-income students, nonresident students and transfer students, according to Master.

This plan is specifically flawed in relation to the impact it will have on transfer students, Master said. Master added that those who come in for their last two years of schooling will pay more than students who came in as freshmen, whose tuition will remain flat for the duration of their time at Berkeley.

“You have students in the same classes, the same exact classes, in the same year of school that are going to be paying vastly different amounts just because they started at Berkeley two years later,” Master said.

While Master noted the increase in financial aid allocation from 33% to 45% that the plan provides is a good thing, out-of-state students, who comprise 25% of the undergraduate student body, will not be eligible to receive this financial aid.

Similarly, EAVP government relations director Bailey Henderson said the UC Board of Regents is missing the broader point that this plan will hurt students.

“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t even have to be fighting for tuition increase in the first place,” Master said. “Many of us are still trying to answer that, including those at the very high levels of our academic universities.”

Contact Zoe Kessler at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @ZoeKessler14.