California's $38.2 billion budget deficit has been keenly felt at L.A. County's largest institutions of higher learning that are publicly operated.

All three major public systems the California State University system, the University of California system and the California Community Colleges system saw mid-year budget reductions from the state in the 2002-03 academic year, ranging from $59.6 million at CSU to $97.5 million at CCC. The UC and CSU systems responded by increasing fees for the term beginning in January 2003.

For the coming academic year, Gov. Gray Davis has proposed cutting general funds further and boosting student fees by as much as 25 percent in both the UC and CSU systems. There are lesser cuts called for at the CCC system but student fees will increase to $18 per unit from $11.

These proposed budget reductions come on the heels of increased enrollment at California's public colleges and universities, with more than 440,000 new students expected in the three systems over the next decade, according to the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

Nicole Taylor


University of California, Los Angeles

Having awarded more than 380,000 degrees since it opened its doors in 1919, UCLA just keeps getting bigger. Full-time-equivalent enrollment is up 270 students in the 2002-2003 academic year, at 35,049 students.

The University of California system guarantees access to the top 12.5 percent of the state's public high school graduates. In order to meet the growing population, all nine universities are expected to increase enrollment. UCLA is expected to increase the number of full-time-equivalent students by 4,000 through 2010, according to the UCLA Long Range Development Plan.

Expanded summer enrollment will likely absorb most of the growth in the UC system, with a tenth campus, University of California Merced, slated to open in fall 2004.

Situated on 419 acres in Westwood Village, UCLA houses more than 290 buildings, including undergraduate facilities and 11 professional schools. Known for its medical research and treatment facilities, UCLA is ranked among the top 10 research universities in the nation.

Ongoing and planned capital projects at UCLA top $2.36 billion, with most of the funds going to renovation and construction of medicine and science buildings. At $672.7 million, the 500-bed Westwood Replacement Hospital project is the largest under construction. Located on the south campus, the building is scheduled for completion in September 2004.

Nicole Taylor

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