UC considers 8% tuition hike to close funding gap - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

UC considers 8% tuition hike to close funding gap

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - The University of California is considering a dramatic tuition increase. The school wants to raise fees by 8%in order to close a $1 billion budget shortfall.

News 8's Adrienne Moore reports from UCSD with the price students would have to pay.

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THIS IS AN UPDATE TO THE PREVIOUS STORY BELOW

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BY Craig McKee

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SAN DIEGO (CBS8) - While word on the street by some in our nation's capital is that the recession is over and we're now on the road to recovery, the dollars are slow to make it to the State of California coffers.

Facing a billion dollar shortfall from the state, University of California President Mark Yudof proposes another student tuition hike to help get over the hurdle.

In an open letter to California he said, "the tuition hike will ensure the resources needed to maintain excellence."

"It's unfortunate that you have to increase fees," said Chirag Patel, a fourth year graduate student at the University of California San Diego. Fortunately, his research pays for his tuition, however, for thousands of other students a new proposed tuition increase for the 2011-2012 school year could mean higher student loans.

Stacey Dejaswina is starting her third year and says a number of her friends are now on the fence as to whether or not they can afford the fee hikes, "That's one reason they're considering to not even apply to the school."

The proposed hike is 8 percent, a small drop compared to the 30 percent hike last year - which brought on large protests by the student body up and down the State of California.

"The state funding for the entire university system has continued to decline over the years," said Lynn Tierney, Vice President of Communications for the University of California. 

She explains this is part of the ongoing ripple effect from the economic collapse of 2008 and the school is finding itself with less money from the state and more students who need a helping hand.

"We have 181,000 undergraduates," she said. "About 55 percent of those undergraduates will receive financial aid."

To that, also proposed, an increase in the annual salary eligible to receive aid. Currently at $70,000, it would jump to $80,000.

In the end tuition would jump $821, to an average of $12,150, according to Tierney.

President Yudof says that four out of ten students come from families with income less than $50,000 a year. He adds that UC serves more low income students than all the Ivy League schools combined, yet costs a fraction in tuition.

Students aren't the only ones impacted by the proposals, employees will also take a hit.

Those currently employed will see an increase in what they pay for benefits. While those hired after July 1st, 2013 would receive less benefits for their money and have their retirement eligibility extended from 60 to 65 years of age.

The proposal will go before the Board of Regents next week.

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