University of Alaska students will be spending more to go to school next year.

On Thursday, the University Board of Regents approved a 5 percent tuition hike for next fall, and another 5 percent increase the year after that. The increase comes on top of five previous tuition raises in as many years.

Starting in the fall, credits for lower division classes will rise from $202 to $212. Upper-division credits will rise from $244 to $256.

Regents approved the increase on a vote of 9 to 1, but several seemed reluctant. With fewer state dollars available for the university system, they seemed to feel there was little choice. University President Jim Johnson said the University is also asking the state for an additional $24 million in funding. He said without it, more cuts would be inevitable.

"We have taken cumulative reductions of $145 million over the last four years. We have 1,183 fewer faculty and staff today then we had four years ago," said Johnsen. "But if that's what the state wants and that's what ends up happening through the legislative session, they have no choice but to continue to take those kinds of steps, very difficult and painful that they are."

Johnsen said another major goal is increasing enrollment, which has been in decline for several years.

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