Fix UC, the student-directed organization seeking to reform the current University of California tuition system through its student investment proposal, recently presented a revised model of its proposal to the UC Board of Regents.
First introduced in January 2012 by UC Riverside’s student editorial board as an effort to address the UC system’s funding crisis, the student investment proposal, presented on March 28, calls for a new tuition system that allows students to finance their education by paying 5 percent of their post-graduate income to the UC for their first 20 years of full-time employment.
UC President Mark Yudof told National Public Radio in February that while he was open to the idea, the proposal “in its current form [was] frankly unworkable.”
Fix UC revised the outline for its proposed tuition payment plan with the hope that the board would not only reconsider the current tuition system, but implement the new model outlined in their updated student investment proposal.
Fix UC’s proposal now seeks to work with the IRS to regulate and collect tuition payments from post-graduates. Chris LoCascio, Fix UC’s lead organizer and editor-in-chief of UC Riverside’s Highlander newspaper, said involving the IRS was necessary for the model’s success.
“The IRS is really the only place that can handle something like this,” LoCascio said.
Among other revisions presented to the regents was the addition of a proposed collection system for receiving and tracking students’ tuition payments as well as introducing low- and high-income caps towards the percent-based tuition fees.
“[The updated proposal] takes into account affordability,” LoCascio said. “It includes a capped contribution system with an annual low-income contribution cap of $30,000 and a high-income contribution cap on incomes over $200,000.”
Fix UC’s updated student investment proposal outlines a system where graduates earning less than $30,000 annually will not be required to make tuition payments, and those earning above the $30,000 cap will adhere to the 5 percent payment plan for their first 20 years of full-time employment. Post-graduates earning an income of over $200,000 will pay no more than $10,000 annually. The Fix UC data report calculates that 5 percent of graduates will make up both ends of the spectrum.
While Fix UC has made significant headway in advocating its proposal, LaCascio said he and his committee recognize that implementation of this proposal will not come anytime soon.
“We never expected something like this to be implemented within a year or two,” LoCascio said. “We’re making fantastic progress and have been welcomed by the UC community.”
The UC Board of Regents has yet to announce an official verdict on the revision. Meanwhile, Fix UC is working on a new project to replicate their student investment proposal for California State University schools.