The California State University (CSU) board of trustees approved a two-step tuition increase last Wednesday. This is the fifth time in the past three academic years that CSU students will experience a fee hike.
Student fees will increase by 5 percent effective January 2011. Undergraduate students will be paying an additional $105 for the winter/spring term, bringing the total semester fee to $2,220. The Trustees voted 14 to 2 to establish this mid-year tuition hike.
With votes 13 to 3, the Trustees also approved an additional 10 percent increase for the 2011-2012 school year. Full-time undergraduate students will pay an additional $444, for a total of $4,884, effective Fall 2011.
“We need to raise tuition not only to adequately serve the students we have, but also to serve the students we have coming on board in the spring and fall,” said spokesperson Mike Uhlenkamp, to the Ventura County Star.
There are 23 CSU campuses in the state, with an enrollment of 433,000 students annually. This year, the universities received a one-time federal stimulus of $106 million to increase enrollment by 30,000 students system wide.
“While we appreciate the funding that we did receive in this year’s budget, the reality is our state support is roughly the same as it was five years ago and we have 25,000 more students,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Quillian, CSU executive vice chancellor for business and finance, in a press release.
“In addition, part of the funding we received…is being used at the state’s direction to admit 30,000 more students. These students will be on our campuses long after this one-time funding has been exhausted, and we have to ensure that we have the ongoing resources to support them.”
In the state’s 2010-11 budget plan, the state assumes that CSU will increase their tuition by 10 percent. This leaves CSU resources about $64 million short in its present budget.
The fee increase will support 3,000 new classes for the winter/spring term to accommodate incoming students. Graduate students and credential program participants will also experience an increase in tuition. Graduate students will pay an additional $129 and credential program participants $123.
For the 2011-12 school year, graduate student fees will increase by $546 and credential programs by $516. Combined with the undergraduate tuition hike, this will generate approximately $121.5 million. The revenue will support an increase of about 6,000 new classes for Fall 2011.
“We will need additional course sections for those students, and we are already working on accommodating this larger enrollment,” Sacramento State president Alexander Gonzalez said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The University Budget Advisory Committee will be part of the discussions on using the additional funds from the tuition increase and the funding restored in the state budget. Most likely, we will look at a combination of one-time spending and an augmentation for all campus divisions.”
The board plans to ask the governor and state legislature to “buy out” the 2011-2012 tuition increase in next year’s budget. If the state agrees, the board will rescind this 10 percent increase.
SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at email@example.com