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UC Regents consider another tuition increase

6:28 PM, Jul 13, 2011   |    comments
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DAVIS, CA - University of California Regents will decide on Thursday whether they will raise tuition by 9.6 percent for the fall term.

If the fee hike is approved, it would raise the average tuition for undergraduates to $12,100 annually. In 2007, the average cost was $6,500. The latest increase would come on top of an eight percent increase earlier this year and another 32 percent raise last year.

It's just one more thing students and parents have to worry about at freshmen orientation at UC-Davis.

Connie Cirimeli already has one child attending community college. Her daughter, Micaela, has enrolled at UCD.

"I'm actually in a position where I'm getting hit on both ends," Cirimeli explained. 

Cirimeli is a school principal in Walnut Creek and has had to take furlough days because of state budget cuts.

"My salary is being hit and tuition costs are being increased," Cirimeli said. "It makes me feel very unsettled and very uncertain about the future."

Her daughter also worries. 

"As it keeps increasing, it's getting scarier and scarier," Micaela said. "Already it's hard for me to find a job to pay my part of my tuition. And now my part is going up so it's scary."

UCD spokesman Mitchel Benson said the latest fee hike proposal is the result of $650 million in state funding reductions approved in the state budget.

"We're looking to raise $6 million to $7 million by having more out-of-state students come to UC. Of course, they won't displace California students," Benson explained. "We're also looking to increase our revenues by another $6 million."

Benson points out statistics show many middle class families, who make to much to qualify for some financial aid, are being squeezed out. Families, like the Cirimelis, who are struggling to pay their college cost said something has got to give.

"They need to put more money in schools," Micaela said. "I know how hard it is to have to cut everything, but really education is our future."

UC student government leaders said this fall will mark the first time  students have put more money into the UC system compared to state funding.

By Karen Massie, kmassie@news10.net

News10/KXTV

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