LOS ANGELES, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Students attending University of California (UC) will have to pay 9.3 percent more in undergraduate fees for next year, it was reported on Friday.
Despite criticism, UC regents approved the fee hike on Thursday, saying the alternative would have been deep reductions in class offerings and services, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The UC board voted 17 to 4 for the undergraduate fee hike.
The decision will boost the average basic fees for California resident undergraduates by 662 U.S. dollars, to about 8,720 a year-- or about 25,000 dollars with room, board and books. Graduate professional programs will see fees jump as much as 25 percent, the paper said.
"I don't know where else to go. I simply do not know where to go," UC President Mark G. Yudof said of the fee hike.
The hike was seen as the university's latest effort to offset state funding cuts. UC already had frozen salaries for top executives and reduced freshman enrollment for 2009-2010.
Expected increases in financial aid and federal tax credits would cover the higher fees for most students, Yudof said in remarks published by the paper.
Critics said the move would scare off low- and middle-income students from going to UC.
The critics also noted the irony that the UC board also approved salaries of 450,000 and 400,000 dollars, and free housing, to new chancellors at UC San Francisco and UC Davis, according to the paper.
Yudof placed the blame on state government, which is expected to cut UC's annual 3 billion dollars in general-revenue funding by at least 115 million dollars for the next school year and not pay for an additional 213 million dollars in increased costs.