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Tuition fees may go skyward, University of California officials warn

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 19th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Unless California Governor Jerry Brown's tax extension are approved - students in the University of California system will face an 8 percent - then 32 percent increase in their tuitions, putting the price of a college education out of reach for many. Furthermore, educational officials in the Golden State warn that these fee increases won't cover the cost of books and board.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - U.C. President Mark G. Yudof said the university must be prepared in the event proposed tax extensions are not approved and state funding for the 10-campus system is cut $1 billion next year. "It's not desirable. But people have to understand the grave consequences to this university," Yudof said at a U.C. regents meeting in San Francisco.

Undergraduates in the University of California system, who are California residents, will see an 8 percent increase to about $11,100 this fall.

Yudof says that the university would not seek a midyear increase if its reduction in state funding remains, as it now stands, at $500 million. The additional 32 percent hike would bring tuition to about $14,800 a year and surely spark student unrest.

Recent news that state revenues may come in $6.6 billion higher than anticipated may hurt Brown's chances of winning the Republican support he needs for the tax extensions. Governor Brown's revised budget, released this week, called for about half of the expected windfall to go to public elementary and high schools, none of it would go to U.C. or Cal State.

Furthermore, in economic projections, U.C. financial experts say tuition may have to be raised from 8 percent to 20 percent annually for four consecutive years. Regents emphasize that no decisions have yet been made.

Yudof said he hopes to expand the university's financial aid program with additional grants to students from middle-income families. For the coming school year, under U.C.'s existing plan, many students with family incomes of up to $80,000 are expected to have their tuition covered through federal tax credits and state and federal aid. Under Yudof's proposal, the income threshold would rise to $90,000 for the following year. In an effort to help the next tier of households, families that earn up to $120,000 may be able to receive grants covering half of tuition, he said.

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