The UC Board of Regents passed a measure Thursday to increase tuition at all UC campuses beginning Fall 2017.
The measure includes a 2.5 percent increase in state tuition and a 5 percent increase in the Student Services Fee, which amount to $282 and $54 respectively. Undergraduate nonresident tuition would also be raised by $1,668.
During a Regents meeting at UCSF, the board said one third of the new revenue from tuition would be used for financial aid and that the Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship awards would both increase.
According to the Regents, these two scholarships would fully cover the increase for about two thirds of California undergraduates.
At Thursday’s meeting, Regents said financial aid would increase to accommodate for tuition rises, rising by an estimated $50 million.
For families with less than $80,000 in income, financial aid would cover all tuition and fees. According to Regents, there will be additional aid remaining for other costs such as rent and food.
Despite the projected increase mentioned at the Regents’ meeting Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown had initially planned to phase out the Middle Class Scholarship.
According to David Alcocer, an officer in the Budget Analysis and Planning department, an estimated 9,000 students would be affected by the Middle Class Scholarship award’s removal. Those who would lose aid would effectively be phased into the new financial aid structure, he said.
“In the event that it is eliminated, the proposed phase-out of the program would effectively grandfather those students who are already current participants,” he said. “It is not as though those 9,000 students would lose eligibility next year to the extent that they are continuing students who are already receiving the award.”
The raises are planned to accommodate the additional 2,500 undergraduate students and the 900 graduate students who are planned to be admitted into the UC system the next year.
Several voiced opposition to the hike’s details, including Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor of California. Newsom said the timing of the vote was inconvenient, as the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) was still in disagreement with the legislature over the surplus of government funds, and the source of revenue for scholarship funds was potentially misplaced with Thursday’s vote.
“By doing the legislature and the governor’s work, by finding the revenue, we’ve let them off the hook. They’re in the middle of a budget discussion; they’re in the middle of determining how large the actual surplus is,” he said. “There’s raging disagreement within the legislature and the LAO’s office.”