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Calif. university board OKs fee hike after protest

By Terence Chea

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:31 a.m. HST, Nov 18, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO >> The cost of a University of California education is going up 8 percent, but fewer students will pay the full sticker price.

The UC Board of Regents on Thursday approved the plan to raise student fees next fall while offering more financial aid.

The decision came a day after a violent protest over the issue led to injuries to four police officers and the arrests of 13 people. There were no protesters at Thursday's meeting.

In fall 2011, student fees for California residents will increase by $822 to more than $11,000. That doesn't include individual campus fees or room and board.

The latest fee hike follows a 32 percent increase earlier this year. It will raise an estimated $180 million in annual revenue, with about one-third set aside for financial aid.

Under the plan, the 10-campus system will expand its so-called Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, so most students from families earning less than $80,000 annually would not have to pay any tuition. The program currently covers families earning less than $70,000.

UC officials said the fee increase was needed to maintain student enrollment, courses and services following deep cuts in state funding that have led to faculty furloughs, course cutbacks and enrollment reductions.

"Nobody wants ever to raise fees," Regent Sherry Lansing said. But she explained that she voted for the fee hike because "the most important thing is to preserve the quality of the university."

The increase was approved by the board with a 15-5 vote.

Student Regent Jesse Cheng voted against the increase, saying students have already sacrificed a lot.

"I don't believe it's a long-term solution," said Cheng, a student at UC Irvine.

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