University of California approves $60 decrease in tuition

- The tuition at the University of California is falling - ever so slightly - for the first time in nearly two decades and, ironically, it's because the system has nearly recouped losses from past litigation over tuition hikes.

Tuition for the next academic year will drop $60, a fraction of a percent of the total base tuition.

The decrease will bring tuition and fees for California residents to $12,570. Students from outside the state pay more than triple that amount.

The decrease represents the elimination of a surcharge imposed about a decade ago to cover the costs of two class-action lawsuits against the university system over tuition increases.

The university system lost both cases, resulting in nearly $100 million in litigation costs. UC will have recouped nearly all of those costs by fall 2018, according to the UC president's office.

UC had planned earlier this year to raise tuition by more than $300, but university officials scrapped that proposal in April.

The state budget that took effect July 1 added millions of dollars in funding for the state's public universities, which allowed the UC system to put off raising tuition, UC president's office spokeswoman Dianne Klein said when the budget deal was announced in June.

Some lawmakers cheered the Board of Regents decision to reduce tuition.

"California's future success depends on affordable access to our world-class universities and colleges," state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, said in a statement.

The UC system last lowered tuition for the 1999-2000 academic year. Regents approved a 5 percent tuition decrease for that year, bringing resident tuition and fees to roughly $3,400.

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