LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — The University of California is proposing to raise tuition at its 10 campuses for the second consecutive year, a move it says will compensate for state funding cuts at a time of record-high enrollment.

Many students have vocally opposed the increase saying higher tuition puts too much burden on students already struggling to pay for their educations.

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The UC Board of Regents plans to vote Wednesday on the proposed increase of $342, or 2.7 percent, in annual tuition and fees for the 2018-19 academic year. If approved, the cost for California residents who currently pay $12,630 in tuition and fees would increase to $12,972.

Out-of-state students would pay an additional $978, or an increase of 3.5 percent, bringing their total for annual tuition and fees to $28,992.
The regents approved a similar increase last January, which was the first tuition hike since 2011.

Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a 3 percent increase in base funding for the UC system in his 2018-19 budget plan, down from a 4 percent increase in previous years, and urged university officials to “live within their means.”

UC President Janet Napolitano called the 3 percent increase “less than we anticipated under the framework we established with the governor.” She said in a statement the UC was committed to its plan to add 2,000 California undergraduates and 500 graduate students in fall 2018.

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“The campuses have asked for this increase because they need it at a time when California undergraduate enrollment is at an all-time high,” UC spokeswoman Claire Doan said. The additional revenue from tuition hikes would go toward hiring more faculty members, creating new courses and funding additional mental health services.

Doan said increased financial aid would cover the higher costs for roughly 100,000 students, more than half of the system’s 180,000 California resident undergraduates, who already pay no tuition.

The UC Student Association has collected nearly 3,000 signatures in an online petition titled, “Stop the UC Tuition Hike,” said student organizer Maxwell Lubin. The petition says, “As UC students, we demand that the regents stop the tuition hike, and that the California legislature fully fund the UC system.”

Last year, a state auditor found that UC administrators amassed $175 million over four years and hid it from the public while increasing tuition and asking the state for increased funding. UC President Janet Napolitano disputed the findings of the audit, saying the money in reserves actually totaled $38 million, and most of that $175 million was earmarked for university programs.

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