On Nov. 18, 2014, University of California (UC) president Janet Napolitano proposed a tuition hike that would affect students enrolling in 2015. This was based on her request for increased state funding, which was to be negotiated between Napolitano and Governor Jerry Brown. However, as a result of the ongoing negotiations, on Feb. 18, Napolitano announced her decision to postpone the tuition hike until the fall of 2015, which will allow summer quarter UC students to enroll without the heightened tuition fee.
“I’m mad about the tuition fee increase proposal, because if [Napolitano] does raise the tuition, the class of 2015 will have to pay more. Even with FAFSA and Cal Grant, we will not have enough to pay tuition [and] other fees such as housing […] and books.” senior Helen Thang said.
Currently, Brown and Napolitano are discussing a compromise. According to the New York Times, the UC Board of Regents has given Napolitano the permission to raise the tuition fee up to five percent if the state decides not to increase funding for the UC schools. According to Yahoo News, $100 million in state funding is needed to eliminate the tuition fee hike completely. Napolitano cited the need for the continuation of academic excellence and students’ access to classes. according to the Los Angeles Times. Brown’s request in the negotiations is that Napolitano will not increase the tuition fee after the UCs are given state funding.
However, some UC students believe that even with the tuition fee increase, UC schools will not pursue higher quality education, according to Los Angeles Times. In addition, students raised the point that UC schools should be lowering tuition, not raising it. Prior to the tuition hike postponement, there were several incidents of protesting by students at UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles and UC Irvine. These protests included class walkouts and marches. Collectively, these protests were called the 96 Hours of Action and included protests against tuition fee hikes, according to The Daily Californian.
Overall, the UC tuition hike has been postponed for the summer semester, but Napolitano and Brown are still in negotiations about the tuition fee in accordance with state funding.