Students have been protesting in the Universities of California campuses due to recent tuition increases. The UC Board of Regents has constructed a plan to raise the tuition in UCs up to five percent each year for the next five years to increase their funding. The President of the UC, Janet Napolitano, and the Board of Regents stated that if they did not receive more state funding they would go forward with the plan to increase tuition, to the dismay of Governor Jerry Brown and prospective UC students.
With the tuition increase, the annual in-state tuition for students would increase to an estimated $15,563 in 2019-20 from the current $12,192. Out-of-state students would pay as much as $44,766 by 2019-20, compared to the current average of $21,706. This increase does not include additional fees, such as books, and room and board. Even though more than half of UC students pay nothing because of financial aid, this tuition increase could limit the amount of students that are able to attend these schools because of the larger need for aid.
California Governor Jerry Brown is opposed to the increase in tuition. Brown’s suggestion is to reduce spending, offer more online courses, and cut executive pay raises. In the past, Brown has turned down opportunities to give the UCs an increase in money with state funding, believing that if the tuition increased then the students would protest and put extra pressure onto the state.
The UC Board of Regents approved the plan with the vote 14-7, and on Nov. 19 the Regents Long-Range Financial Plan Committee approved the plan on a 7-2 vote, with Brown and student regent Sadia Saifuddin voting against it. Before the meeting, student protesters linked arms in front of the entrance, causing a slight delay. The outraged students believed that the UCs spent too much money on executive pay.
Student protests occurred throughout different UC campuses. At UC Berkeley, hundreds of students occupied Wheeler Hall on campus after the board vote. In addition, the students also planned a walkout Nov. 24, where an estimated 1,000 students participated. Other schools like UC Irvine and UC San Diego began occupations of their own.
Most of the senior class at CVHS has turned in college applications either during or before the tuition increase. The real question will be if prospective students from the junior class will shy away from applying to UCs because of the tuition plan.
“In my plan, I would like to go to UCLA because of its photography program,” said junior Jes Smith. “I still plan on going even with tuition increases, but it does put fear in the back of my mind that I won’t be able to go.”
The increase in tuition could be an obstacle in many applicants, creating an even larger competition for scholarships and financial aid.
A lot of students at CVHS are unaware of the increases in tuition.
“It’s moronic,” said junior Maricela Corona. “Students already have to pay a lot of money, when they raise tuition it will be worse.”
CVHS College counselor Jennifer Kline isn’t happy about the tuition increase plan either. “I do not agree with the tuition hikes. I think that the state should increase funding,” she said. Kline explained that the increase in tuition would raise the funding of the school, but the money won’t necessarily go toward the students. The money could go toward retirement, pay increases, and the hiring of teachers. In addition 5,000 more California students would be accepted into the school creating larger classes, and possibly less adequate room and board. “Tell us what that money is going toward,” said Kline.