For the first time since 2011, University of California students will pay higher tuition.
The UC Board of Regents approved increases Thursday.
The board voted to raise undergraduate, in-state tuition 2.5 percent, or about $300, with student fees also increasing $50.
The university system is in the process of raising student enrollment by 10,000 and officials say more money is needed to keep up with teachers, equipment and buildings.
Regent Russell Gould suggested the revenue could help students get through college more quickly.
"The plan we have before us provides for putting more resources and faculty into core courses," Gould says.
The board says some of the money will also go to financial aid, wiping out the higher fees for most students.
UC Student Association President Ralph Washington Jr. put his Ph.D. research about insects to work.
He asked regents to band together with students to lobby state lawmakers for the funding.
"When a fire ant colony is inundated, the ants cluster around their vulnerable nestmates, they link tarsi, and they construct a raft out of their own bodies," Washington says.
Regents approved the higher fees and tuition by a vote of 16 to 4. The UC system had avoided increases these past few years as part of an agreement with the Brown Administration.
The governor did not oppose an increase this year, although he said he would prefer the university find administrative cuts.