Starting this summer, annual fees for residential full-time undergraduates will likely cost $9,357.95, up from this year’s $8,638.60.
The UC Office of the President’s (UCOP) Committee on Finance will present the proposal for the fee increase to the UC Board of Regents at their meeting on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The meeting, which was scheduled to occur at UC San Diego, will be conducted via teleconference, in order to preserve UCSD’s medical resources due to the recent swine flu outbreaks. Regents will correspond from 10 different locations where students can attend for public discussion; the closest location to Davis is the Mission Bay Center in San Francisco.
“The University of California really doesn’t want to do this,” said Jesse Bernel, UC student regent designate. “We would like to see students‘ fees as close to zero as possible but given the budget situation, we are forced to raise fees to maintain the quality of services on our campuses.“
The regents‘ budget “did not include an increase in student fees, but rather requested funding by the state to avoid fee increases,“ according to the Committee on Finance’s written agenda.
The state of California’s per student contribution to the UC has fallen by nearly 40 percent since 1990, adjusted for inflation, according to UCOP documents.
“The governor’s budget released in January 2009 not only failed to provide the funding needed for new expenditures related to compensation and enrollment growth, it also did not provide funding to avoid student fee increases,” according to the agenda.
The governor’s budget calls for a 10 percent increase in the educational fee and a 4.2 percent increase in registration fees. The average of the two amounts to a cumulative 9.4 percent, or $662.
The increase would generate approximately $152 million, $54.2 million of which would be set aside to provide additional financial aid to undergraduate and graduate students, said Ricardo Vasquez, UCOP spokesperson.
The proposal also highlights some of the other forms of financial aid, such as the Blue and Gold plan and other federal, state and university assistance.
However, many students are still strongly against the increase.
“This decade, our fees have nearly tripled, but our salaries have not,” said Sergio Blanco, a junior political science major and former ASUCD senator. “We’re paying for things that are not included in our fees, like food and books, which are also increasing in price. Soon, students aren’t going to get into college based on merit, rather whether they afford it or not.“
Bernal acknowledged this concern, but stated that the regents will likely pass the proposal out of necessity for the UC system.
The meeting will also review a student generated accountability report, which will seek to provide registration fee guidelines such as graduation rates and research income.
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.