Fee Hike

Allyce Ferrua, A&E Editor

UC Regents approved an 8 percent tuition and fee increase for 2011-12 on Nov. 18. The vote was approved 15-5 to raise tuition and fees by $822 for all UC students, bringing undergraduate costs to $11,124.

At the same time, regents also expanded the UC Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan to cover all system wide fees for financial-aid eligible California undergraduates with family incomes up to $80,000. This year the eligibility ceiling is $70,000. In addition, the university will provide financial aid-eligible California resident students with family incomes below $120,000 grants to cover the 2011 fee increase.

Former SRJC and current UCLA student Kara Maddalena is upset about the increase, “I think it’s really unfair there is no way for the students to have a say in who is on the board of the regents—they are chosen by the governor for 12 year terms as political favors, and there isn’t really a way for anyone to change that.”

All students will continue to pay a student services fee ($972 of the $11,124 cost in 2011-12) for mental health, career and educational counseling and various student life programs. Additional campus fees pay for transportation programs, athletics and other activity fees. It is estimated that with the increases in financial aid, 55 percent of undergraduates will not pay the fee increase.

The fee increases are expected to generate $115.8 million annually for the university’s operating budget after a portion of the increase is dedicated to financial aid. The UC system is faced with a $1 billion budget gap.

UC will ask the state to increase its 2011-12 budget by an additional $596.1 million over the 2010-11 fiscal year state general fund allocation of $2.91 billion. The UC budget also calls for administrative savings of $101.1 million to be achieved through operating efficiencies.