Students brace for UC school tuition hike

FRESNO, Calif.

UC Merced students currently pay about $12,000 a year in tuition and fees. Thursday regents will vote on a 9.6 percent increase that would raise annual tuition to more than $13,000.

Students are upset over this, it's potentially a second increase in less than a year.

"The UC system is excellent, but at the same time it's very very expensive," said Alisha Cardini, a UCM student.

The total cost of attending UCM is less expensive than its counterparts. This year, students pay a total cost of $12,000 with tuition and fees. At UC Berkeley the total yearly cost is about $13,400. And at UCLA the cost jumps up to $17,000 a year.

"It's expensive; tuition is expensive at all UC's," said UCM junior Keegan O'Hare. He chose the UC system for its prestige, but he and other students say charging them more to fill the state's budget gap is not right. "I really don't like it, I don't think it's fair for us," he said. "It's already so much money."

"Oh, it's just very disappointing, especially because since recently we've had another tuition hike," Cardini said.

If passed this 9.6 percent increase would be added to the 8 percent hike approved last November. Tuition bumps are also the talk of Cal state campuses. On Tuesday CSU trustees approved a 12 percent increase for state universities.

These moves come as the state cuts $650 million from the budgets for both CSU and UC schools.

Fresno County Office of Education Superintendent Larry Powell said these cuts represent a broken promise by the state to current college and high school students. "I call the budget a promise killer because a lot of kids have done everything we've asked them to do and yet the promise is not there of higher education at a reasonable rate," Powell said.

If the state's budget falls short of its revenue projections by December the UC system will be faced with an additional mid-year loss of close to $100 million.

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