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University of California regents pass tuition hike

Under the new plan, California resident undergraduate tuition for 2015-2016 would be $12,804, and could increase to $15,564 by 2019-2020.

By Gabrielle Levy
University of California regents pass tuition hike
Janet Napolitano. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A public education just got a lot more expensive in California.

The University of California Board of Regents, defying the objections of Gov. Jerry Brown and protesting students, voted Thursday to raise tuition by as much as 5 percent each year for the next five years.

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Board members voted 14-7 on a proposal introduced by UC President Janet Napolitano, following a three-year freeze on tuition increases.

Napolitano says the governor has not budgeted enough to maintain the quality of the UC system, but Brown said the universities need to spend more frugally. He said he wants to create a task force to find ways the university could ease costs, educating more students in less time.

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"This is the budget we think we need so we can get off this year-to-year, feast-or-famine budget process for the university," Napolitano said. "We don't have time to wait for another commission. We can have it and maybe we will get some really nifty ideas out of it, but the budget process moves along."

She said the increases may be smaller if the governor decides to boost the university's budget.

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Tuition has doubled in the past decade, from $6,000 a year for California undergrads in 2005 to $12,192 in 2014. Under the new plan, California resident undergraduate tuition for 2015-2016 would be $12,804, and could increase to $15,564 by 2019-2020.

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The UC said the hikes would go toward covering the rising cost of retirement benefits, hiring faculty and adding an additional 5,000 California residents. Ahead of the 2014 school year, the UC estimated about 87 percent of its 185,000 undergraduates are California residents.

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