The University of California Board of Regents deferred voting on a tuition increase until its May meeting.
The Board of Regents was originally scheduled to vote on a 2.5 percent tuition hike at its Wednesday meeting, but UC President Janet Napolitano said she thinks the University should advocate for increased funding from the state legislature.
“We should accept the invitation from students this morning to fight together for funding to the (UC),” she said.
Napolitano said the board may consider an out-of-state tuition increase at its March meeting. She added UC Office of the President will work with campuses to make sure that they are able to provide students with information on tuition levels in a timely manner.
“I’ve been advised we can handle the delay,” she said.
The regents were originally considering increasing tuition by $288 for the 2018-2019 academic year. The board was also going to increase the student services fee by $54 and nonresident supplemental tuition by 3.5 percent, or $978.
Last year was the first time the board of regents increased tuition in six years.
Several individuals at the meeting’s public comment session said they opposed tuition hikes because they think increases disadvantage low-income and undocumented students.
George Michael Mitchell, an advocate for undocumented students, said he thinks the regents should understand that tuition increases hurt undocumented students who do not qualify for financial aid, including those not enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The DACA program, which was enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012, deferred deportation for undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children and allowed them to receive work permits and driver’s licenses in certain states.
“Those who qualify for (DACA) … have the opportunity to work, but the rest of us … don’t have opportunity to make an income,” he said. “Some are not able to be covered under financial aid.”
Members of the UC Student Association delivered a petition to the regents calling on them to delay voting on the tuition increase, claiming the increase was privatizing the UC system and making it inaccessible to Californians.
Max Lubin, CEO of Rise, Inc., a group that advocates for college affordability, said he thinks the regents should instead pressure state legislators to provide more funding for the University.
“At a time of unprecedented student debt, at a time when (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is threatening our family and friends, and Congress is undermining our education, we need you to fight with us in the legislature,” he said.