UC proposes annual tuition increases over five years

Dispite an endowment fund that ballooned to $126.1 billion in 2019, the University of California says they need to raise more money.

They're considering annual tuition increases over five years under a sweeping plan, for financial aid and campus needs.

UC regents will consider two plans to raise fees at their meeting next Wednesday in what could be the second fee increase in nine years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One plan calls for raising tuition and fees for all students annually by the cost of inflation. That would amount to a projected 2.8% increase of $348 over last year, to $12,918 for fall 2020.

The second plan would raise tuition and fees once for each incoming class but keep those costs flat for six years. Under that plan, the costs for the entering class of 2020-21 would increase over last year by 4.8%, or $606, to $13,176 for California undergraduates. The tuition of existing students would be frozen at their current levels.

More than half of UC in-state undergraduates with the greatest economic need would pay less than they do today under both plans to raise tuition because they would receive more financial aid.

UC President Janet Napolitano is recommending that the Board of Regents approve either of the plans “so that, as campuses begin extending offers of admission in February for the fall 2020 term, prospective UC students can make informed enrollment decisions,” according to a UC memo.

The memo expresses appreciation for Gov. Gavin Newsom's proposed 2020-21 budget, which includes more than $217 million in new, permanent funding for the UC system. That money will help pay for things such as more student support services, expanding the medical schools at UC Riverside and UC San Francisco's branch in Fresno, expanding research and agricultural initiatives and immigrant legal services.

But UC officials say they need more money to cover an ambitious plan to increase undergraduate enrollment, make long-neglected repairs to infrastructure, address faculty and staff salary gaps, strengthen mental health services, build new classrooms, dorms and labs and cover rising pension and health costs.