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 Students at Berkeley and the other nine UC campuses will pay increased fees to help balance the university budget. (Peg Skorpinski photo)

UC Regents approve 2007-08 student fees
'Regrettable' increases of between 7 and 10 percent to be offset, in part, by financial aid and Cal Grants, notes UC President Dynes

| 21 March 2007

The University of California Board of Regents last week approved student-fee increases for the 2007-08 academic year. The increases are consistent with those recognized in Gov. Schwarzenegger's 2007-08 state budget, and in line with the compact between UC and the governor, which includes a provision for regular annual fee increases.

"It is regrettable that fee increases are necessary to address the University's needs, but I want to reassure students that the University has an exceptional financial-aid program, which, along with an increase in Cal Grant awards, will mitigate the impact of higher fees on financially needy low- and middle-income students," said UC President Robert Dynes. "In fact, 43 percent of our undergraduates will have their full fee increase covered by grant funds."

Mandatory systemwide fees will increase by 7 percent, or $435 for resident undergraduates and $483 for resident graduate academic students, starting in summer 2007.

Professional-school fees will also increase by 7 percent for most programs, and an average total of 10 percent at selected law and business schools.

The increases were approved by a vote of 13 to 6, with regents Eddie Island, Odessa Johnson, Maria Ledesma, Monica Lozano, George Marcus, and Frederick Ruiz voting no. Regents voting to approve the increases were Richard Blum, William de la Pena, Dynes, Russell Gould, Judith Hopkinson, Joanne Kozberg, Sherry Lansing, John Moores, Gerald Parsky, Peter Preuss, Leslie Tang Schilling, Steve Schreiner, and Bruce Varner.

For undergraduates, the governor's budget proposes a $16 million increase in Cal Grant awards to offset the fee increases for UC Cal Grant recipients. The University will also return to financial aid an amount equivalent to 33 percent of revenues generated by the undergraduate-fee increase. As a result, UC will be able to provide additional grants covering 100 percent of the fee increase to on-time financial-aid applicants whose family incomes are lower than approximately $60,000 per year.

It also allows UC to provide a grant covering 50 percent of the fee increase to other needy on-time financial-aid applicants whose family incomes are below $100,000 per year.

Additional provisions will make available a 45 percent return-to-aid for graduate academic students; a 33 percent return-to-aid will be implemented for professional school students to mitigate the impact of the fee increases.

The University is still recovering from major budget cuts earlier this decade.

Meanwhile, the costs of operating the institution continue to increase due to both inflation and the need to remain competitive with other institutions in hiring and retaining the most talented faculty and staff. The governor is proposing an increased state contribution to the University in his 2007-08 budget, but addressing UC's needs requires an increase in the contribution from students as well.

One of these needs is the enhancement of mental-health services provided to students. The University will set aside 43 percent of the revenue generated by the 7 percent increase in the registration fee - approximately $4.6 million - to fund initial steps in enhancing mental-health services. The additional 57 percent will be used to fund salary and other necessary cost increases.

In addition, a temporary $60 surcharge approved by the regents in July 2005 will be applied to all enrolled students beginning in summer 2007. This surcharge was established to address the loss of revenue stemming from a court ruling in a class-action lawsuit by UC professional-school students. The fee will be assessed until the shortfall in revenue is fully replaced.

The 2007-08 fee increases include:

Undergraduate students: Mandatory systemwide student fees will increase by 7 percent above the current fee level. For resident undergraduates, this means fees will rise by $435. In addition, all enrolled students will also pay the temporary $60 surcharge. The increase will bring the total mandatory systemwide fees for resident undergraduates to $6,636. With additional miscellaneous fees charged by individual campuses, their average systemwide fees will total approximately $7,347.

Graduate students: Mandatory systemwide fees for resident graduate academic students will also increase 7 percent, or $483 per year, in 2007-08. In addition, all enrolled students will also pay the temporary $60 surcharge. This will bring the total mandatory systemwide fees for resident graduate academic students to $7,440. Adding in miscellaneous campus fees, their average total fees will total approximately $9,481.

Professional students: Mandatory systemwide fees for professional students will be increased by 7 percent, or $430 a year for most students paying professional-school fees. Additionally, all enrolled students will pay the temporary $60 surcharge. This will bring total mandatory systemwide fees for most professional students to $6,582. In addition, professional-school fees will be increased by 7 percent for most programs, to cover cost increases funded from professional-school fee revenue. In recognition of the disproportionate cuts taken from the Berkeley, Davis, and UCLA law schools and the business programs at Berkeley and UCLA, professional-school fees will be increased by about 12 percent and mandatory fees (educational and registration) will increase by 7 percent, for an overall average increase of 10 percent.

Nonresident tuition fee: In addition to mandatory systemwide fees, out-of-state students must pay nonresident tuition. The nonresident undergraduate tuition will increase by 5 percent in 2007-08, raising nonresident tuition by $900, from $18,168 to $19,068. Nonresident tuition will remain at $14,694 for graduate academic students and $12,245 for professional students. Together with mandatory systemwide fees and campus fees, nonresident student charges in 2007-08 will total $27,027 for undergraduate students and $24,469 for graduate academic students.

Some national comparisons

Even with the fee increases, total charges for UC resident undergraduate and graduate academic students are expected to remain well below the average fees charged at the University's four public salary-comparison institutions.

In 2006-07, UC's total cost of attendance (including the cost of mandatory student health insurance) was slightly less than Michigan and Illinois and more than Virginia and SUNY Buffalo. Simple cost comparisons, however, ignore the effects of financial aid at UC, which benefits from a strong state- and institutional-grant program. Taking into account scholarship and grant assistance, UC's average net cost (costs less gift aid) was below the average estimated net cost at its comparison institutions for need-based aid recipients in 2006-07.