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California state universities continue to raise fees

Parents: Get ready to write bigger checks.

Students: Steel yourselves to pay off larger loans.

It's getting more expensive to go to college in California.

The University of California Board of Regents is expected to raise next year's undergraduate fees by 9.3 percent at its meeting today. California State University trustees take up the issue next week, when they'll look at raising student fees by 10 percent.

Large fee hikes have become the norm in recent years, as California's public universities turn to students and families for money they're not getting from the state. If fees go up again as proposed, the cost of a college education in California will have jumped more than 70 percent since 2001 – even when adjusted for inflation.

Leaders of the state's public universities say their schools remain a bargain compared with others nationwide and maintain that the growing price tag won't hurt needy students. They say their plan will take from the rich and give to the poor: One-third of the money raised by increasing fees will be set aside for financial aid.

But for the students who borrow their way through college, the rising fees still sting. Just ask Jeremy Ogul, a sophomore at UC Davis who relies mostly on loans to pay his tuition. The annual cost of a UC education will go up by $693 next year – from $8,027 to $8,720 – if the regents approve the proposal before them today.

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