Monday, September 12, 2011

UC Might Increase Tuition 81% Over the Next Four Years

When the Regents meet September 14th, they will discuss a multiyear funding proposal that will likely result in a series of large tuition increases over the next few years. The heart of the plan is found here: “Components of a multi-year plan would include the assumptions about efficiencies and revenue- generating strategies, and a proposal that, under the optimal scenario, would call for eight percent annual increases each in State funds and in tuition and fees through 2015-16. If the State is unable to meet its share of this cost, student fees would be raised further to make up the State’s deficit. Thus, if the State provides only four percent increases each year, student tuition and fees would increase by 12 percent annually. If the State provides no increase, student tuition and fees would increase by 16 percent annually. Incorporating this principle into a multi-year plan will make clear to all stakeholders that a failure to invest in the University will directly increase the amount students and their families pay to attend.” According to this structure, if the state does not increase funding over the next four years, tuition will go up 16% each year for a cumulative total of 81%.

Of course, the state could increase its funding, and this would mean a smaller increase for students, but if recent history is any indicator, the state is more likely to decrease funding, and this possibility is not addressed directly in the formula mentioned above. What the new plan does argue is that a four-year strategy would force the state to think twice before it reduces funding for the UC system: “Establishing the direct relationship between State funding and required tuition increases into a multi-year plan will make clear to all stakeholders – the Governor and Legislature, students and parents, and other interested citizens – that a failure to invest in the University will cause an increase in the amount students and their families pay to attend.” So far the state has not been very concerned about tuition increases, and so the real result of this plan could be that the state will just take for granted huge tuition increases. After all, students keep enrolling, and the university has shown that it will cover any state reductions by forcing students and parents to pay more.


  1. Look for the regents and top admin to give the impression that the dominant cost driver for tuition increases is pensions.

  2. could you say/confirm what the approx. dollar figure would be in each of the four years? for undergrad and grad?

  3. Here is my calculation of in-state tuition by years: $12,192 (2011-2012); $14,143 (2012-2013) $16,406 (2013-2014) $19,030 (2014-2015); $22,074 (2015-2016). It is unclear if they would raise graduate tuition at the same rate.

  4. Last year we were told that Yudof thinks that grad tuition must be increased as well, along with undergrad tuition, due to political considerations.

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  5. If we operate under the assumption that state funding will at best hold steady and at worse decrease (that the rhetorical impact of tying failures to increase funding to tuition hikes is basically zero), then this is simply a way of naturalizing fee increases.

    Under the cover of trying to put political pressure on the state, UCOP and the regents are deflecting politics from themselves by making fee increases a given that will just happen automatically and work their way through the bureaucracy, rather than having to be the result of executive decisions each and every year.

    I guess they don't like it when we crash their meetings.

  6. bob, thanks for this. the link to the committee's agenda lists its membership and still includes david crane. people should know that, even though he was not confirmed, he can complete one year as a regent AND VOTE! that is outrageous and needs to be changed.

  7. How does it cost 50% more (after adjusting for inflation) for University of California (UC) Board of Regents Chair Lansing and President Yudof to provide the same service?

    Total expenditures in the UC system in 1999-2000 were $3.2 billion to educate a student population of 154,000. Converted into 2011 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI calculator gets us to $4.3B in 2011 dollars, which comes out to $27,850 per student.

    In 2011, the total UC system budget was $6.3 billion dollars: an increase of almost 50% after adjusting for inflation. Enrollment also rose - to 158,000 students, a 3% increase, yielding a cost per student of $39,750.

    Costs went up 50% in 10 years. And yet the news out of UC President Yudof is that the UC system is "bracing" for 'another round of budget cuts'!

    Email opinions to UC Board of Regents

  8. According to the article, there may be a 16% increase over the next for years. In this case, 16% every year for four years would equal 64%, not 81%.

    If we're to take into consideration the 9.6% fee increase voted on in July, and the 8% during last November, then we get 81.6%.

    If this the formula you used?

    The reason I ask is that

  9. ...continuing.

    The reason I ask is that I don't want people calling us out on attempting to be inaccurate, then muddling our message. I think we should breakdown the formula to show the cumulative numbers.

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  10. It gives me warm fuzzies to realise that under-achieving children of the 1% will more likely assume their rightfull place of acceptence in the UC system. Ahhh.... competition.

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