Will UCLA Tuition Go Up This Year? — UC Budget Threatened By Reality

The UC Regents approved a budget in November that was intended to keep UC tuition from going up in the 2014-2015 school year. That would keep it at $12,192 (more details on that number on our homepage). But the realities of California’s support and reports from other agencies are starting to make that possibility seem dim. Realistically, students should expect a roughly 4% increase in tuition according to a government agency that provides financial advice called the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The new budget that the Regents developed and approved late last year include and rely on a major component of state support. In 2012, the state passed Proposition 30 which raised taxes to provide California education (including the UC system) with more funding in the wake of a recession. California has cut about a billion in funding from the UC system in the past 5 years… and while state support looks a little better in the future, the pattern of fiscal conservation on the state’s part is generally expected to remain the same.

In their approved budget, the UC Regents are asking the state and Governor Jerry Brown for $267.1 million in funding. Gov. Brown’s plan (effectively a counter offer) only provides the system with $146.2 million, yet it keeps student tuition stable, without a hike. And the Legislative Analyst’s Office’s analysis is a little pessimistic, outlining a 3.8% increase in tuition and fees to bring in $78 million to make ends meet.

Negotiations are still up in the air and time will tell if tuition will actually go up or remain frozen like it has since 2011. Realistically, it looks like tuition will probably rise.

Bigger picture, the regents and the state need to come up with a consistent, sustainable way to provide students with a yearly tuition cost. Otherwise, their negotiations with legislators do little good. Students rely on tuition numbers to plan their for their education — a huge investment that takes a long time to develop.