UC Raises Tuition for Out-of-State Students

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UC Berkeley students walk through Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The price tag on a University of California education just went up for out-of-state and international students. The UC Board of Regents voted Thursday 12-6 with one abstention to hike undergraduate nonresident supplemental tuition by $762, despite loud protest from students across the state.

“$762 might seem incremental,” UCLA student Sachi Cooper told regents, “but that $762 was the flight that my friend took home for her grandfather’s funeral, and it was the flight that I could not take to stand by my mother’s side during her surgery.”

The increase is expected to bring in $26 million in new revenue, most of which would benefit in-state students. University of California President Janet Napolitano reminded regents that next year’s budget plan hinges on this revenue infusion.

“Without this we add another $30 million hole, and that will have an impact on the educational impact we can provide our undergraduate students, be they from California or be they from out of state,” Napolitano said.

A portion of the revenue, nearly $3 million, will be set aside for financial aid to help out-of-state students, a provision added after regents tabled a vote on the increase at their last meeting in March because of widespread criticism from students and disagreement among trustees, who worried the fee bump would keep low- and middle-income non-California students out.


The 2.6% increase goes into effect for the 2019-2020 school year and raises out-of-state tuition and fees to $42,324, more than three times what in-state students pay.

Out-of-state and international student enrollment spiked in the wake of the recession as UCs scrambled to make up lost funding. In a decade, the percentage of nonresident undergrads has more than tripled, leading to concerns that qualified Californians are getting left out.

Under pressure from legislators, the University of California approved its first cap on the number of out-of-state students two years ago.

Still, university leaders say nonresident tuition remains essential to subsidizing other costs.

“Increasing the enrollment of nonresident students and NRST (Nonresident Supplemental Tuition) revenue have been essential to meeting the needs of all Berkeley students,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ told regents.

“Our costs keep going up and more revenue has to come from somewhere,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said. “There really is a need for these resources to keep the institutions excellent.”

Last year, regents raised out-of-state tuition by $978. The university is keeping tuition for Californians flat at $12,570 for the 2019-2020 school year.

Among those who voted against the plan was Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who also serves as chancellor for the California Community Colleges.

“I have a great discomfort voting for any additional penny from the students until we do our jobs,” he said, arguing that regents should first outline a clear vision for, among other things, the balance of resident and nonresident students that’s right for UCs.

“We’re going to come back to this again in the next month, in the next year, in two years," he said," if we don’t stop and address the future of the University of California.”