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UC Fee Hikes: What They Mean to You

The decision by the University of California (UC) Board of Regents in November to raise tuition fees by 32 percent has been met with much consternation by frustrated University of California school system students, many of whom say the average annual cost of $10,302 for undergraduates might price them out of a college education. Despite loosening financial aid restrictions, some students say they don't know have the extra funds for the UC tuition increases, which are set to take place in the spring and fall semesters of 2010 and the following academic school year.

The UC tuition hikes and similar increases approved the California State University System earlier in the year are part of a national trend brought on by sharp declines in tax revenues. College education systems face large budget deficits, and boosting tuition fees--unpopular as it may be with students--is part of the answer to generate much-needed revenue. With tuition costs for undergraduate education rising every year, online degree programs remain an affordable option for earning a bachelor's or master's degree from one of many accredited online schools.

Rising UC Tuition Costs: A Closer Look

Here's the skinny on the financial impacts of the UC Board of Regents fee hike and what it means for undergraduate and graduate students:

  • For California residents, a mid-year fee increase in January of $585, or 15 percent, for undergraduates and graduate professional degree students.
  • An increase of $111, or 2.6 percent, for graduate academic degree students.
  • For the 2010-2011 academic school year, fees rise again by $1,334, or 15 percent, for both resident undergraduates and graduate students starting in summer 2010.
  • Fee increases for professional degrees for the 2010-2011 academic year range from $280 to $5,696.

The UC tuition increases are expected to generate $505 million and help the school system avoid layoffs and an extension of the current furlough program that cut UC employees' pay from 4 to 10 percent. With the fee increases, undergraduates in the UC system would pay $2,514 more than when they registered for classes in the fall of 2009.

Students Vent Frustration Over Fee Hikes

Although the UC Board of Regents says 33 percent of the revenue generated from the tuition increase, or $1.66 million, will be set aside for financial aid, that assurance did little did sway student concern over the fee increases. Students gave voice to their frustrations with demonstrations against the UC tuition hikes, and UC campuses in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and Berkeley had buildings taken over by student sit-ins.

The press release issued by the University of California further details the fee increases and new financial aid requirements.

Options Abound for Online Education

Students who aren't dead-set on bleeding the "True Blue" of UCLA or the blue and gold of the Cal Bears can find affordable alternatives to the UC school system by enrolling in one of many well-respected online schools. Just as private colleges typically are more expensive to attend than public colleges, the same holds true for online courses from private versus public universities. With a little research and a few phone calls, you can find an online degree program that meets your expectations--and your budget.

The decision by the University of California (UC) Board of Regents in November to raise tuition fees by 32 percent has been met with much consternation by frustrated University of California school system students, many of whom say the average annual cost of $10,302 for undergraduates might price them out of a college education. Despite loosening financial aid restrictions, some students say they don't know have the extra funds for the UC tuition increases, which are set to take place in the spring and fall semesters of 2010 and the following academic school year.

The UC tuition hikes and similar increases approved the California State University System earlier in the year are part of a national trend brought on by sharp declines in tax revenues. College education systems face large budget deficits, and boosting tuition fees--unpopular as it may be with students--is part of the answer to generate much-needed revenue. With tuition costs for undergraduate education rising every year, online degree programs remain an affordable option for earning a bachelor's or master's degree from one of many accredited online schools.

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