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Defying Governor Brown, University of California Set To Raise Tuition Again

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

UC President Janet Napolitano speaks at a news conference in Sacramento on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

University of California Regents are scheduled to vote on a 2.5 percent tuition increase Wednesday — the second consecutive hike after a six-year freeze.

In doing so, the UC would defy Gov. Jerry Brown, who made clear when he released his budget proposal earlier this month he expects the university to hold tuition flat.

“I think they need a little more scrutiny over how they’re spending things,” Brown told reporters. “They gotta lower the cost structure, and there are tools to do that. And they need to step up and more creatively engage in the process of making education reasonable and affordable."

The governor's budget calls for a 3 percent increase in state funding for both the UC and California State University systems.

Leaders of both universities have criticized that proposal as insufficient, and Brown’s expectation of freezing tuition as unreasonable.

“We are disappointed,” UC President Janet Napolitano said last week. “The governor had agreed to 4 percent — and had agreed and anticipated that tuition would need to rise, basically at the rate of inflation.”

Napolitano said the UC will continue to urge the governor and Legislature to increase funding “so that we have the resources we need to provide the quality of education at the University of California is known for.”

But at his budget release, Brown scoffed at concerns that his proposed budget increase wasn't nearly enough: “Hah – it is enough. You’re getting 3 percent more, and that’s it. They’re not gonna get any more."

The UC's proposed 2.5 percent increase for in-state, undergraduate students would raise tuition to $11,790 a year. The university is also proposing a 3.5 percent increase for out-of-state students, bringing their annual supplemental tuition to $28,992.

The CSU is also disappointed with its 3 percent budget increase from the governor. The Board of Trustees plans to discuss a potential tuition increase at its meeting next week, but no vote has been scheduled.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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