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University Of California Proposes Tuition Hike For Next 5 Years

Janet Napolitano in May of 2014.
Jim Watson
AFP/Getty Images
Janet Napolitano in May of 2014.

Following three years of a tuition freeze, the University of California system is considering a major hike.

The Associated Press reports that UC President Janet Napolitano will present to the system's governing board a plan that calls for a tuition increase of as much as 5 percent each year for the next five years.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"For undergraduates who are California residents, tuition next year could rise to $12,804, not including room, board and books. By the 2019-20 school year, that could increase to $15,564.

"UC needs more money to help cover rising costs of retirement benefits, fund recent pay increases in employee contract settlements, hire more faculty and raise the number of California undergraduates by 5,000 over five years from the current 166,250, according to the proposal being formally released Thursday."

In an interview with the AP, Napolitano said the plan is based on current funding levels for the system. If California allocates more money, the AP reports, it could offset some of the proposed hikes.

"We are being honest, being honest with Californians in terms of cost and also ensuring that we are continuing to maintain the University of California in terms of academic excellence, in terms of its moment, in terms of being really an engine of mobility," Napolitano told the AP.

Napolitano told the LA Times that the 5 percent increase was "the worst-case scenario for California students and their families."

The proposal will be voted on by the UC regents during their meetings on Nov. 19 and 20.

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.