Well fellow students, now that the fee increase has been approved by the Regents, it is vital that you fully understand what this increase means for you and all students across the UC. We all know that its bad news, but exactly how bad is it?
To summarize, a mid-year increase of 15 percent, effective winter/spring quarter semester 2010, has been approved for undergraduate and professional students. Graduate academic students will only have to face a 2.6 percent increase during this period. An additional increase of 15 percent will be effective summer 2010 for all students. These two 15% increases together constitute a 32% overall increase over what UC students are currently paying. If that is hard to conceptualize, here are the raw numbers.
Systemwide educational fees (not including the $900 registration fee) for resident undergraduate students currently sits at $6,888. With the mid-year 15% increase, residents must pay an additional $585, making the total $7,473 after a single quarter.
Two quarters later, our educational fees will rise to $8,058 for undergrads. And this is still before the additional increase in 2010-11. With the added 15% increase, fees will increase by another $1,344, making the total a staggering $9,402. But wait! Don’t forget about the $900 registration fee, which brings total fees over the 10k mark, for the first time ever in UC history I might add, to $10,302.
This total, $10,302, applies to grad students as well after the increases.
Nonresidents, who traditionally pay higher fees, will see their already high costs go up, peaking at $22,021 for undergraduates and $14,694 for graduate academic students.
And there’s more! Keep in mind that this number doesn’t include the various campus specific fees, which are projected to be $985 for undergrads and $2,630 for grads by 2010-11.
I’m not even going to go into the professional degree increases, which range anywhere from $280 to $5,696(!).
SO, the final totals are estimated to be $11,287 for undergrads and $12,932 for grads.
It is ok to cry a little.
So if we have to pay all these additional fees, where is it all going toward?
The revenue generated by these fees will equal to about $505 million dollars. This might seem like a substantial amount, but keep in mind that not only does it have to be divided among ten UC campuses, but 33% percent of that $505 million will go toward financial aid. So, really we are only looking at about $330 million that will go directly to operating costs. Even if we made the wild assumption that these funds will be divided evenly among the campuses, each campus will only see revenue of $33 million as a result of these increases. I don’t have to tell you that this amount will barely make a dent in yearly operating costs of each University campus, nor will it help to curtail the UC budget shortfall.
So essentially, students are being asked to pay a large amount, more than $3,000 extra, for very little benefit. To quote a famous robot, all of this “does not compute.”
Oh, and just to let you in on a little secret, these aren’t the last of the fee increases. That’s right, there are MORE coming in later years. The regents are planning to institute another systemwide 10% increase for 2011-2013.