05/11/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UC System Overload: 16 Percent Enrollment Increase Expected

A new study, aptly titled "Ready or Not, Here They Come," predicts that California's college enrollment will increase by 16 percent in the next nine years.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the report, released by the California Postsecondary Education Commission, makes clear the need for more higher education funding.

By 2019, demand for slots at California's community colleges is expected to rise by 313,253 students, according to the report. At the California State University and the University of California, demand will peak several years earlier, according to the projections, making the need for funding solutions more immediate.

BizJournal reports that to support growing enrollment, colleges in the state will need an additional $1.5 billion more in funding in 2019 than they were allotted in 2008.
Any less than that would force schools to turn away students.

If the state does not fully fund enrollment for the three systems, to at least the 2008-09 level, 277,000 students face being turned away next year, the report concluded.

The report comes a week after California's Statewide Day of Action, during which thousands of college students protested university budget cuts and tuition hikes. Last fall, UC's Board of Regents approved a 32 percent student fee increase.