Cal State to Consider 6 Percent Annual Tuition Increase

Cal State to Consider 6 Percent Annual Tuition Increase

A student walks under the entry to the California State University–Fullerton campus in Fullerton, Calif., on Aug. 28, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

8/4/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

California State University (CSU) students could see their tuition rise by 6 percent annually amid the system’s declining enrollment.
CSU’s board of trustees discussed the cost hike during a board meeting in July but ultimately decided to delay the decision until September.
Some students, teachers, and staff voiced opposition to tuition increases at a rally outside of the university’s chancellor’s office at CSU–Long Beach and during the public comment period at the meeting.
One student said hikes would prevent him from saving so that his children can attend college in the future.
“I myself am a first-generation [student]. My children, hopefully, will be the second generation. I would like nothing more for them than to attend a university such as this,” the student said during the board meeting. “I fear that higher tuition fees will limit access to education for those who need it the most, including my children and myself.”
If approved, the increases would begin at the start of the 2024–25 school year and continue to increase by 6 percent annually over the next five years, when it would then be reevaluated by the board, according to a presentation by CSU officials during the meeting.
However, the 60 percent of CSU students who receive some form of financial aid—whether through grants, scholarships, or waivers—wouldn’t be affected by the increases, according to officials.
Tuition hasn’t increased for CSU students since 2011—and, currently, the system’s tuition is among the lowest in the state at $5,742 per year. A 6 percent raise would mean students pay an extra $342 for the first year.
People walk on campus at California State University–Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif., on March 8, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

People walk on campus at California State University–Fullerton in Fullerton, Calif., on March 8, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Apart from state funding, tuition is the “only other significant source of revenue for the CSU operating fund,” according to officials.
“Tuition has been held flat for 10 of the last 11 years through 2022–23, which has helped maintain affordability for as many students as possible and kept the CSU as one of the most affordable institutions of higher education in the country,” officials said in the proposal. “However, the absence of a tuition increase has also prevented the CSU from having sufficient resources to keep up with rising costs.”
The proposal noted that the annual tuition for an undergraduate student has increased only once—by 5 percent, or $270—since the 2011–12 school year, while inflation increased by 39 percent during that same period.
CSU’s enrollment has fallen by 5.4 percent in the past five years—from 484,297 in fall 2017 to 457,992 in fall 2022, according to its website.
Implementing the multiyear tuition hikes would provide CSU with $840 million in new tuition revenue by 2028–29.
The revenue would be used to support existing programs and services, according to the proposal, as well as for financial aid, staff pay, and facilities maintenance.
Officials also said they would use the revenue to attempt to address disparities in costs across the system’s 23 campuses.
For example, CSU–San Jose’s annual tuition and fees currently total $7,992, with campus housing and food costing about $18,568, while CSU–San Diego’s tuition and fees total $8,290, with about $21,630 for university housing and food.
While the base tuition is the same at all CSU campuses, mandatory campus fees vary widely from campus to campus, and there are also regional differences in housing prices, financial aid policies, and other fees that account for cost discrepancies.
The proposal will come before the board for approval during their next set of meetings on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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