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UC Tuition Could Nearly Double Under Budget Plan

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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Undergraduate tuition at the University of California could nearly double over the next five years under a budget plan set to be considered Thursday by school officials.

Administrators plan to propose the multiyear budget plan at the Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The regents could vote on the proposal at its November meeting.

Under the plan, UC would raise tuition by as much as 16 percent each year if the state doesn’t boost funding to the 10-campus system.

The size of the tuition hike would depend on how much the state contributes. For example, if the state boosts funding by 8 percent, the university would increase tuition by 8 percent. A 4-percent increase in state funding would lead to a 12-percent tuition hike.

If state funding remains flat for the next five years, basic tuition for California residents would top $22,000 by the 2015-2016 academic year.

Undergraduates currently pay $12,192 in annual tuition, which doesn’t include room, board or campus fees. That’s more than three times what they paid a decade ago.

Officials for the university system say the increased revenue is needed to address a looming $2.5 billion shortfall driven by growing enrollment and employee expenses.

UC administrators say they hope the budget plan will help them negotiate an agreement with the governor and state Legislature to fund the university over the next five years. It could also bring predictability to the university’s finances and help families figure out how they will pay their children’s college bills.

Over the past three years, the UC system has seen dramatic swings in government funding as the state struggle to close massive budget shortfalls caused by the economic downturn.

This year for the first time, the University of California will receive more money from student tuition and fees than it receives from the state.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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