The Frenzy Financial Fight To Keep or Raise UC Tuition


Values taken from University of California Admissions

Although the University of California schools are public, tuition has steadily increased and may continue at an upward trend if this proposal is to be passed.

Julia Kim, A&E Editor and Co-Business Manager

UC regents will vote to either keep or raise tuition fees and student fee services for all University of California schools in late May. If approved by officials, all schools will raise tuition by 2.7 percent for all California residents, totaling a tuition fee of $12,972 for the 2018-2019 school year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Students will then be asked to pay additional fees to the tuition fee to attend.

Officials have reported tuition increases to be inevitable, due to a lack of government funding for public universities. In the late 1900s, 18 percent of California’s General Fund was spent to sponsor UC schools, but now it has dropped to 12 percent, decreasing from a little over $23,000 to $8,000. This proposal, if passed, will become the second consecutive increase after a six-year freeze on tuition increases.

“UC officials say the money would be used for more financial aid, enrollment growth, faculty, courses, graduate student fellowships, expanded mental health services, counseling and academic advising, technology upgrades, library support and building maintenance A planned increase in contributions to the employee retirement fund would be shelved under the proposal,” Los Angeles Times reported.

Originally, regents were supposed to have voted on this issue Jan. 24, but after severe opposition from college students, the vote was delayed till May. Considered a victory for students, many have continued to circulate petitions and gather more support against the raise. However, for many UC Chancellors, the delay brings bad news; schools will be unable to move forward and prepare for the next school year.

“With the additional revenues, campuses will be able to hire more faculty, offer more courses, improve technology, provide more student counseling and tutoring, and support other campus-tailored priorities,” UC spokeswoman Claire Doan said in an interview with the OC Register.

This potential tuition increase has raised concerns not only with college students but also with high school students beginning to consider college options. The raise may decrease the attractivity of a UC school, especially for California residents.

“Although UC schools have much cheaper tuition fees than private high schools, it still is a lot of money,” sophomore Lauren Hwang said. “UC schools are the top public schools, but if the tuition increases too much, I would rather pay more and go to a private college.”

Especially with the possibility of college tuition rising, understanding the financial demands of college is important for all students to prevent graduating with large amounts of debt.    

“The students planned for college and got here on one set of financial assumptions, only to find out that the game changes every year,” deputy chief of staff of San Francisco State Shawn Whalen said in an interview with the New York Times. “I think one of the biggest shocks is when students come in as freshmen and a semester later there’s a fee increase.”