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UC Regents Increase Nonresident Tuition

Education: The hikes for out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students will begin this fall.


SAN FRANCISCO — Faced with an unresolved state budget shortfall, University of California regents voted Thursday to raise tuition by 10% for nonresident undergraduates and by 4% for nonresident graduate students, beginning this fall.

The regents approved an additional 6% tuition hike, effective next spring, for undergraduates from out of state.

The decision, approved by a 14-1 vote of the regents present at the regular bimonthly meeting here, does not affect California residents. They make up the overwhelming majority of the university's students, including nearly 95% of the freshmen arriving on campus this fall.

The vote Thursday means that for nonresident undergraduate students, tuition will increase by $1,070 this fall and by another $235 in the spring. That will bring the annual tuition for those students to $12,009 for the coming year and to $12,480 for 2003-04.

Nonresident graduate student tuition will be $11,132 for the coming year, up $428.

All nonresident students, in addition, pay mandatory systemwide fees of $3,859 for undergraduates and $4,914 for graduate students.

University officials said the higher tuition is necessary to help cover the rising cost of providing health benefits to UC employees and to pay for UC outreach programs to elementary and high school students.

Tuition for the university's nonresident students has risen at an average annual rate of about 4% in recent years and is typically far less controversial than increasing fees for in-state students, who have greater influence in Sacramento.

But several regents on Thursday voiced concerns about the increases, and student representatives said they worried that the rising tuition will discourage many foreign and out-of-state students from applying.

"We need the diversity that these students bring to our classrooms," argued Kenneth Burch, a graduate student in physics at UC San Diego and president of the UC Students Assn. The organization represents the university's 187,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

"Sept. 11 should have taught us that we need to be training people to be our leaders who have a broad view of the world," said Burch, a New York native who said he paid out-of-state tuition himself when he was an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz.

Two regents, Ward Connerly and David Lee, objected on other grounds, citing what they viewed as a disconnect between Thursday's vote and the regents' decision in January to allow undocumented immigrant students with proven California ties to pay the lower, resident fees.

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