A 32 percent fee increase is on the table at today’s UC Board of Regents meeting.
While the proposed fee hike is the most hotly anticipated item on the agenda, the Regents will also discuss several other aspects of their 2010-11 budget plan during the final two days of their meeting at UCLA. The Regents’ finance committee will debate the plan today, with the full board set to vote on Thursday.
If approved, the plan will initially raise mandatory fees by 15 percent next quarter. Effective Summer Quarter 2010, that increase will extend to the full 32 percent. These two increases would raise a California resident’s education and registration fees from $7,788 to $8,373 by Winter Quarter and to $10,302 from summer 2010 through the following academic year.
UC spokesperson Leslie Sepuka said the UC Office of the President considers this fee increase inevitable and necessary.
“The two primary sources of funding of educational costs at the University of California are the state and student fees,” Sepuka said. “State funding of core educational costs was reduced by 20 percent for the fiscal year 2009-10 alone. I really don’t think there are any alternatives in the short term.”
Along with the potential fee increase for undergraduates, professional and graduate school students may also see their fees spike. For academic grad students, a 2.6 percent increase for Winter Quarter is proposed, with an additional 15 percent jump set for 2010-11. Meanwhile, if the plan is passed, professional school students — depending on their campus and program — can look forward to shelling out anywhere from $280 to $5,696 more next year.
Additionally, the Regents are seeking a $913 million increase from the state to help close the ever-widening budget gap. If that state funding is not provided, the UC will reduce freshmen enrollment by 2,300 in 2010-11.
Another action item up for discussion today is the expansion of the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan — a UC financial aid plan that fully covers the tuition fees of California residents whose families earn less than $60,000. The extended plan would cover potential students from California families earning less than $70,000.
According to Celina Ayala, UCSB Associated Students External Vice President of Statewide Affairs, an estimated 10,000 people will be attending today’s meeting. In fact, she said, each campus’ EVPSA office is sending at least 100 students to the meeting either today or tomorrow. A group of about 250 UCSB students — the largest EVPSA delegation from any UC campus to venture to Los Angeles — will be attending the meeting tomorrow, Ayala said.
During the meeting, the Regents will also address the endorsement of Project You Can — a program designed by Mark Yudof to increase philanthropic efforts in order to raise money for students. The project aims to raise $1 billion over the next four years.
UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said he is a strong proponent of this endeavor and that the money for the venture will be coming from a variety of sources.
“We are working intensely to reach out to the general public, to business and community leaders, and to our elected officials to make the case that investing in higher education is investing in the future of California and the United States,” Yang said.
For coverage from today’s meeting, check out dailynexus.com and twitter.com/dailynexus. A live audio Web cast of the open sessions can be heard online at http://california.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2.