Long-term Stability Plan for Tuition and Financial Aid
The University of California receives $460 million less in state funding than it did in 2007–08, even though it enrolls more California students than ever, including about 7,000 students for whom it receives no state funds. Despite this decline in budget support, UC has kept its commitment to Californians by growing resident enrollment, preserving financial aid, and upholding academic excellence. Unfortunately, the state cuts have increased the volatility of student tuition and led UC to defer critical investments in academic quality. Now, despite the improving economy and positive state budget outlook, there is no guarantee that the state will fund access for all qualified California residents or provide needed funds for investment in the university system.
UC President Janet Napolitano, in one of her first acts as UC president, froze tuition for the 2014–15 academic year — the third year of no increases — and pledged to develop a plan that would end the sudden spikes in tuition levels that were the result of declining state support.
Together with UC Board of Regents Chair Bruce Varner, she has proposed — and the full board has adopted — a five-year plan for low, predictable tuition that maintains UC's strong financial aid program, invests in educational quality and expands enrollment capacity at UC for California students.
The new long-term stability plan for tuition and financial aid would guarantee that tuition would not increase by more than 5 percent annually for five years, provided the state maintains its current investment commitment. The state could also choose to provide additional funds to cover tuition revenue, allowing UC to reduce or lower the tuition and fee increases proposed in this plan.
The long-term stability plan for tuition and financial aid will:
- Enable UC to enroll 5,000 more California students over five years.
- Maintain UC’s robust financial aid program, through which more than half of undergraduate students have all their tuition and fees fully covered.
- Fund high-priority investments in educational quality, including reductions in the student-faculty ratio, increased course offerings and a shorter time to degree.