Fee Increase: The Cold, Hard Numbers


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.

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3 responses to “Fee Increase: The Cold, Hard Numbers

  1. This has to be one of th most poorly written articles. Who wrote this? First, there is an unbelievable amount of bias in this story. Who are you to say that it is okay to cry a little? You trying to tell students about the fee increases but all I here is the common phrase, “But wait, there’s more!” Is 505 MILLION DOLLARS not a lot of money to you? Okay, so there’s financial aid. Is 330 MILLION DOLLARS not a lot to you? Okay, so it will get divided ten ways. That’s still 33 MILLION DOLLARS PER CAMPUS. Have you ever seen 33 MILLION DOLLARS? I haven’t but I do know what that number is and it is a lot of money. As a student of the UC system, it hurts to see what needs to be done to keep this education system alive. But, you never talked about anything but numbers and how bad it is for students. Now really, are you in any position to tell us how bad it really is?

  2. Thank you for your comment, we always appreciate the critical feedback. It should be noted, however, in regards to “unbelievable bias” that this blog is concerned with opinion work, and the opinion of the office of Student Regent, and not necessarily meant for journalistic or research reporting, and we hope for it to be read as such.

    Our argument regarding the 303million dollars is no way meant to downplay the importance of that revenue for the students and quality of education in the UC. However, we would like to stress how much of a burden this does place on students, and feel that students should know how much money they are creating. Even with the 900m dollars from the state, plus the 303m from student fees, the UC system is still down 200m from 07-08 operating expenses. it should be known that student fees, while they do create revenue, are not a catchall solution for the budget crisis.

  3. Student Regent Intern

    Again, thanks for the comment, it’s always good to have feedback. Just to let you know, I’m the author of this poorly written article, and I’d like to respond to some of your questions. “Who are you to say that it is okay to cry a little?” Who am I? I’m a student, just like you, who has to deal with all of these fee increases, so of course I would be biased, because I see it from the side of the students who have to struggle to pay these new fees. You also say that all you hear is “But wait, there’s more!”, but really, I only say it twice, and the only reason I say that is to point out how ridiculous it all is that we have to pay so much. And of course 33 million would be a lot of money to us, but it isn’t all that much to a university system that requires billions to operate each year. The point is that we students will likely see very little benefit from the large amount that we have to pay. I don’t know about you, but $3000 is a lot of money to me, more than $33 million is to the University. Finally, you say that “But, you never talked about anything but numbers and how bad it is for students. ” Well I certainly hope so, because that was the POINT of this article. I am no journalist (if the article is any indication) , and this article was not meant to an objective report on the fee increases, it was simply meant to spread awareness about the figures involved with the increases, peppered with my own brand of sarcastic ire. That is why the title is “The Cold, Hard Numbers”, and not “A Balanced Look at the Increases”.

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