Students Face Tuition Hikes at Universities

Tamara Baskin

While prospective transfer students are awaiting acceptance responses from California public universities, those very universities on March 14 moved to raise tuition fees.

UC fees have been raised 7 percent, and Cal State fees have been raised 10 percent.
During meetings that took place at UCLA and Cal State Long Beach, both the Board of Regents and Cal State trustees decided to enforce the increase for the fall 2007 semester in order to maintain various students services.

With the increase, annual fees for UCs will now be about $7,300 a year, and $3,400 for Cal State campuses will charge $3,400 a year.

According to Kevin Meza, transfer center coordinator, 800 students transferred to Cal State campuses and 250 students transferred to UC campuses. After the 13-6 vote was passed for UC and 15-0 vote was passed to raise Cal State fees. The meeting, along with the decision, leaves UC and Cal State students wondering how they will be able to keep up with the changes.
Prospective transfer student Lina Davoudian, fears that the increase could affect her plans to transfer to the school of her choice.

‘This increase will really have an effect on which university I transfer to,” she said. “The price is just too much to pay for.”

Although this increase is surprising, it is not the first time it has occurred. Members of Regents admit that the increase is the fifth increase in the past six years. Not only is it the fifth, but according to Regent members, it may not be the last.

GCC counselor and mother, Roxanne Dominguez, is among the few parents who have experienced the increases throughout the year. Dominguez has a son who is currently in his second year at UC Berkeley as an engineering major. Dominguez said that as the cost of living heightens so does the fees, which could potentially put a major strain on all current and prospective UC students.

“The cost of living is so high and it’s already hard enough,” said Dominguez. “My son has a part-time job, got a loan, but it’s still hard and there’s just been too many increases in the last year,” she said.
One of the biggest issues that circulates this sudden increase is the fact that those students who are planning to transfer in of fall 2007, will be responsible to pay this increase.

One group of students, which are among the largest hit by this increase, are AB-540 students. A-B 540 students are undocumented students who are required to pay in- state fees and are not eligible to receive any type of financial aid. Since AB-540 students are only eligible for either little or no aid, it does pose a concern to whether or not these students will have the opportunity to transfer.

According to Hoover Zariani, service learning center coordinator and AB-540 committee member, a majority of these students have a small income which causes them to struggle to receive a proper education.

“When I think about the increase for California public universities, it just makes me sad,” said Zariani. “It makes transferring and going to school for these students that much harder. No matter how high the prices increase they [A-B 540 students] still can’t pay.”

Not only do higher increases affect those attending next semester, but it could also affect those that have any type of plans of transferring in the future. Along with books, housing and the cost of living, students will now have another obstacle to with stand.