Squeezed to do far more with much less, the University of California and California State University are considering raising tuition for the first time in six years as they grapple with escalating demands to enroll more students, graduate them faster and hire more faculty — all with a smaller share of state dollars than in years past.
Leaders of both institutions say they are pressed to find more money to preserve the vaunted quality of the nation’s largest and most prestigious public university systems. As record numbers of high school graduates statewide qualify for admission, officials are scrambling to find dorms, classrooms, lab space and instructors for them, along with more academic support for the growing share who are low-income or the first in their families to attend college.
UC, for instance, has added about 83,000 students since 2000. Yet the state’s share of paying for each of them dropped from 72% in 2000 to 41% last year, administrators said.
The proposed hikes, which could amount annually to $270 per student for Cal State and $280 for UC, would be covered by financial aid for most students, officials say.
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