Brown, Napolitano Strike Two-Year Tuition Freeze Deal 

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Gov. Jerry Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano finally came to an agreement on Thursday regarding how much California residents will pay to attend the University of California.

According to the deal, tuition for undergraduates hailing from the state will not rise over the next two years, although tuition hikes for non-residents and students pursuing professional degrees were approved.

The deal, which must still be approved by the state legislature, will require the state to give $436 million over three years to UC’s pension fund; the university, in turn, will create new pension eligibility rules for future employees. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the deal would cost the state almost $1 billion in extra funds through 2019, and added that UC’s actuaries estimated last November that the university owes $7.6 billion in unfunded liabilities and $14.5 billion for retiree health care. The Sacramento Bee reported that the UC system will offer new employees after July 2016 the choice between two pensions: a defined contribution plan or a defined benefit plan capped at $117,000 per year, which is now capped at $265,000.

Brown had wanted to force the UC system to terminate acceptance of non-California students and eschew tuition hikes before he offered the money, but he relinquished his position. He also agreed to allow the state legislature to offer the UC system additional funds to enroll more California students.

Other features of the agreement include:

Raising the university’s base budget by 4% through 2019, for a total of $507 million;

Only hiking tuition for in-state undergraduates and graduate students pursuing academic degrees after the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year, after which it would rise aligned with the rate of inflation, although the UC system can raise the $972 “student services” fee by $48 this fall;

Letting the UC system enroll more out-of-state and international students at seven of its nine undergraduate campuses; UCLA and UC Berkeley are not included;

Hiking tuition premium for non-Californians from $22,878 this year to as much as $35,013 in 2019-20. That would be added to the in-state rate of $11,220.

Hiking tuition by at least 5% for all professional degree programs except for UC’s five law schools.


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