Proposed UC Tuition Hike Could Add $15,000 to Cost of MBA |

Proposed UC Tuition Hike Could Add $15,000 to Cost of MBA

By Louis Lavelle

Updated August 16, 2016 Updated August 16, 2016

Four top MBA programs in the massive University of California system may face a series of tuition hikes over the next five years that could increase annual costs for in-state residents by as much as USUS$15,000.

The plan, which will be voted on by the University of California Regents at their November 19-20 meeting in San Francisco, calls for 5% annual increases for in-state and out-of-state students in all undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, including those in business. The annual increase could be reduced or eliminated if state funding for the university grows by more than the 4% per year currently anticipated, according to the Los Angeles Times.

If approved, the tuition hikes would end a tuition freeze, currently in its third year, won by Governor Jerry Brown, who sits on the Regents board and remains opposed to the tuition hike.

“The three-year hiatus was about as long as was wise,” UC system President Janet Napolitano told the Times. The 5% increases, she said, were “the worst-case scenario for California students and their families, but it is a very predictable scenario.”

If approved by the Regents, 5% increases per year for five years would increase in-state tuition for the full-time MBA program at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, currently US$54,673, to US$69,779, an increase of US$15,106, while out-of-state tuition, currently US$57,220, would rise to US$73,029, an increase of US$15,808.

The tuition hike would impact full-time programs at the business schools at UC campuses in Irvine, Davis, and San Diego. In-state MBA tuition at those three campuses are US$36,488 at Davis, US$38,932 at Irvine, and US$44,000 at San Diego. The proposal would not impact the full-time MBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, which won approval to become self-sufficient by forgoing state aid in 2013. "As a self- supporting degree program, we follow a separate process than state-supported programs," said Elise Anderson, a spokesperson for the Anderson School. "Any increases we propose will be determined by our own factors."

According to the Times, the UC system needs to raise tuition to cover rising costs of retirement benefits and employee pay increases, hire more faculty, and serve more students.

The proposal would continue to direct about a third of tuition revenue to financial aid, which benefits a large number of UC students – only about 30% of undergraduates from California pay the full cost of tuition.

Still, tuition hikes in the UC system – which saw fees triple over the past decade, with some hikes as high as 30% in a single year – are a hot-button issue, and the latest proposal is expected to generate significant student opposition. In 2009, major protests against tuition hikes broke out on many UC campuses, with students occupying campus buildings, leading to arrests.

Even before Napolitano outlined her plan, the Times reported, the UC Student Association last week launched a petition drive calling on the Regents to continue the tuition freeze or roll back tuition. 

This article was originally published in November 2014 . It was last updated in August 2016

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