Nonresident students may have to pay $762 more in yearly tuition following a vote by the University of California Board of Regents on Wednesday.
The Finance and Capital Strategies Committee approved a recommendation to the regents to increase nonresident supplemental tuition by 2.6 percent during its meeting. This would increase tuition for nonresident students from $28,992 to $29,754.
UC President Janet Napolitano recommended the committee enact the 2.6 percent increase, which translates to $28.9 million in additional revenue for the UC.
“We don’t seek this increase lightly,” Napolitano said.
Napolitano said not passing the increase would cause the UC to make cuts elsewhere to provide the funding.
“There are other forms of financial assistance to our out-of-state and international students, and we haven’t seen … (a) decline in applications from out-of-state or international students,” she said. “This is an increase that actually keeps out-of-state tuition in terms of constant dollars – otherwise, costs continue to rise and (there will be) cuts elsewhere in the University program.”
According to the agenda for the regents meeting, the increase would support the UC’s goals “to expand access to California resident students, increase degree attainment, close student achievement gaps, and invest in faculty.”
The tuition increase would also provide resources to help students cover costs other than tuition and fees, such as housing and food, and improve student access to mental health care, according to the agenda.
Regent Chair George Kieffer said he supports the resolution because the UC’s obligation is first to the education of California residents and to the state’s economy.
Kieffer said out-of-state students contribute to the University’s campuses, but that the UC is not obligated to provide aid to nonresident students. He added it is untenable for the University to keep tuition constant for multiple years without adjusting for inflation.
“It comes down to (balancing) resources and what our role is,” he said.
Nathan Brostrom, the UC’s chief financial officer, said several UC campuses rely on nonresident supplemental tuition to support campus initiatives, including paying back campus debt and offering student services.
Brostrom said the core budget for the UC’s academic endeavors is about $9 billion and that the additional funding would be beneficial to the University’s efforts.
David Alcocer, associate vice president of the UC’s budget analysis and planning department, said nonresident families are mostly able to pay the cost of nonresident tuition and housing costs, and that despite the difficulties of some of these students, increasing nonresident supplemental tuition would not negatively affect many others.
Alcocer said nonresident supplemental tuition increases in the past have not negatively affected graduation rates or retention of nonresident students.
He said undocumented students who attended high schools in another state would be the only members of that community affected by the potential increase.
Brostrom said the UC used to be able to provide financial aid to nonresident students but stopped providing it years ago following a state agreement.
He added that roughly two-thirds of nonresident students are international students.
Regent Hadi Makarechian said many international students come from economically affected areas. He said the tuition increase would restrict access to the UC to wealthy individuals in other nations, and that he would vote against the measure.
He added the expected $28.9 million increase in revenue from the raised tuition does not seem to make a huge impact on the UC’s $36.5 billion aggregate budget.
Regent Lark Park said she does not want wealthy international students to be the only nonresident students who are able to attend UC schools. She added she does not currently support the increase.
Varsha Sarveshwar, a UC Berkeley student speaking on behalf of the University of California Student Association, said the regents should not approve the nonresident supplemental tuition because it prevents low-income, out-of-state families from sending their children to UC schools.
The Board of Regents will formally vote on the motion to increase nonresident tuition Thursday.
Contributing reports from Keshav Tadimeti, Daily Bruin senior staff.