The University of California Board of Regents approved a multiyear tuition increase for undergraduate students across all 10 campuses at their July 22 meeting, impacting the incoming fall class of 2022 and beyond.
The tuition increase will not impact the graduating classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024.
The proposal, originally introduced at the Regents’ May 13 meeting, will increase tuition for the future class of 2022-23 by 2% from the previous class’s tuition plus inflation, capping the raise at no more than 6% and calculating average inflation over a three-year rolling period.
The future class of 2023-24 will see a 1.5% plus inflation increase, 2024-25 will face a 1% plus inflation increase and 2025-26 will face a .5% plus inflation increase. The class of 2026-27 onward will only face an increase for inflation.
Advocates of the tuition hike, including UC President Michael V. Drake, touted the financial stability — with the plan setting a six-year flat tuition rate for each incoming class — and increased student aid that the plan aims to provide.
“This plan proposes a much more stable and secure way forward for students and the university,” Drake said to the Regents at their Thursday meeting, noting that 61% of students will have no overall tuition increase under the plan, which returns 45% of the increased tuition to students in the form of financial aid.
“We all acknowledge that increasing tuition is not a decision to be taken lightly, but this is the best option we have to create cost predictability, enhance student support and continue the excellence of the university,” he continued.
However, the proposal received pushback and protest from student groups across the UC, including from UC Santa Barbara’s External Vice President for Statewide Affairs Esme Quintero-Cubillan and her office, which trained students who were against the proposal to speak during public comment at the Regents’ July 22 meeting.
“This tuition plan would disenfranchise non-resident, international, low-income, QTBIPOC students,” Quintero-Cubillan said to the Regents during public comment. “As a public institution, we must do our job to make sure we are actually making social mobility accessible to students no matter [their] income level.”
Student leaders from UCSB were not the only ones present at public comment to push back against the tuition hike.
“How dare you parade yourselves as a diverse system and market yourselves off the facade that you’re inclusive? At this rate, you might only accept wealthy students, as you’re making it nearly impossible for the rest of us to attend,” said Kalli Zervas, an Associated Students senator from UC Berkeley.
“Over the past two years, thousands of UC students raised their voices against this tuition proposal,” Aidan Arasasingham, president of the UC Student Association, said in a statement following the Regents’ decision. “While we were not successful in blocking this proposal, we will closely follow the implementation of this plan and continue to zealously fight for a more affordable, accessible and quality university that meets the needs of UC students.”
The tuition increase was approved by a vote of 15-7, and the Regents will have to reauthorize the plan in five years, a change from the original indefinite proposal.