University of California Approves Fee Increases for Professional Schools Totaling 10% Annually
The University of California Board of Regents on Thursday approved a set of fee increases that will raise costs for students in some professional schools -- including medicine, pharmacy and dentistry -- by 7% to 10% annually, the Los Angeles Times reports (Trounson, Los Angeles Times, 7/22).
The board previously voted for a 3% fee increase to take effect in November, and the new 7% increase will bring the total increase to 10%. The levy will take effect gradually, with two-thirds due in the winter quarter of the 2005-2006 school year and the full amount due for the 2006-2007 school year.
The amount of the increases varies for each school, depending on financial needs. Increases range from $136 annually for nursing students to $776 for business students at the University of California-Los Angeles (Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22).
The regents also approved a temporary fee increase for nearly all professional students of $700 next year and $1,050 the following year. Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, the temporary fee will be replaced by a $60 fee paid by all of UC's 200,000 students (Yang, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/22).
The temporary fee increase is intended to offset a $20 million shortfall by the end of the 2005-2006 school year that will result from an injunction that prohibited UC from collecting fees above the 2003-2004 levels for students who first enrolled in professional schools before December 2002. The injunction was issued in a lawsuit filed by students who said they were promised when they enrolled that their fees would remain constant, the Chronicle reports (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/22).
As a result of the increases, total fees for students in the 2005-2006 academic year will range from $11,800 for the nursing program at the University of California-San Francisco to $23,986 for the law school at the University of California-Berkeley (Bartindale, San Jose Mercury News, 7/22).
Graduate students protested the fee increases, the Union-Tribune reports (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/22).
UC President Robert Dynes and several other officials defended the increases, saying they were necessary to offset state funding reductions.
According to the Times, in the last four years, the 10 schools in the UC system have lost 15% of their state funding, although enrollment has increased by 19% (Los Angeles Times, 7/22).