Students of the University of California can expect to pay more in tuition for the upcoming semester. The Board of Regents voted 14-4 to approve a tuition increase of 9.6 percent last Thursday. That’s a spike of $1,068. The increase follows an 8 percent jump that was previously approved for the 2011-2012 school year.
“I hate that we have been forced by our state’s politicians to raise tuition, but I hate even more the possibility of letting UC slide into becoming a second-rate institution,” regent Bonnie Reiss said.
With the two recent hikes in tuition, students will pay $1,818 more than they did last year. In-state tuition costs $12,192 a year, and averages $13,218 when other campus-related fees are configured.
Government officials cut funding by $650 million to both UC and Cal State University, and the school hopes that an increase in tuition will make up for some of the shortfall. Though, with a deficit of nearly $1 billion, the increase will only cover one quarter of the shortage.
While tuition is increasing to all time highs, the middle class is struggling to afford higher education. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom voted against the increase.
“Here we are putting once again a nail in the coffin of the middle class because that’s who gets hurt,” Newsom said, who is also a regent. ”The state needs to own up to its responsibility.”
School officials say that several students will not be affected by the tuition hike. In many cases, a combination of tax credits and financial aid will completely cover tuition for families that make less than $80,000 a year. Additionally, families that make less than $120,000 will see the 9.6 percent increase waived.