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College Tuition Hike in California Sparks Protests

Students in California got a firsthand lesson Thursday in the cost of their state's budget crisis, as University of California leaders approved a 32 percent tuition hike for undergraduates to make up for lost financing. Spencer Michels reports.

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  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    It was shades of days past at the University of California at Berkeley today: students occupying a building and barricading themselves inside.

  • PROTESTER:

    This is not your '60s Berkeley sit-in.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    This time, they weren't protesting war, but a massive tuition hike approved yesterday.

  • PROTESTERS:

    Fired up! We can't take it no more!

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    Similar protests erupted yesterday, as hundreds of students marched at the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles.

  • PROTESTER:

    I don't know if I can afford to come back to UCLA next year.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    But student outrage was not enough to dissuade the board of regents that governs the 10 schools under the University of California umbrella. Faced with declining state support and an unbalanced state budget, the members voted to raise undergraduate tuition by $2,500, to more than $10,000 per year, across the U.C. system.

    It now costs three times as much as it did 10 years ago to attend University of California schools. And that's not including housing, board and books. As a result, many of the more than 200,000 students in the system say they may be priced out of an education.

    KARISSA COGNATA, UCLA student: No, my sister is starting college next year. We can't afford it.

  • SPENCER MICHELS:

    So, what do you do?

  • KARISSA COGNATA:

    I will have to take out a huge loan and be paying it off for the rest of my life.