California Universities Weigh First Tuition Hikes in 6 Years - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

California Universities Weigh First Tuition Hikes in 6 Years

by Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO —Faced with record high enrollment and the need to hire faculty, the University of California and California State University systems are considering raising tuition for the first time in six years.

The proposed annual hikes – $270 at the 23 Cal State schools and $280 at UC’s nine undergraduate campuses — are being discussed this week by the governing boards of both systems at separate meetings on budget plans.

Leaders of both institutions say they need more funding to maintain the quality of the nation’s largest public university system.

Rates have remained frozen despite declining state support, officials said. The current in-state undergraduate tuition at Cal State schools is $5,400 a year and $12,300 a year at UCs.

About two dozen students protested Tuesday outside the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.

They placed fake tombstones on the lawn outside the meeting, wore zombie face paint and held signs saying, “We are the Walking Debt” to symbolize the “dying CSU system” that used to be free and fully state-funded, said Courtney Yamagiwa, a member of activist group Students for Quality Education.

Yamagiwa, a senior at California State University, Long Beach, urged the board to push for more state funding.

The proposed hikes could take effect for the 2017-18 school year unless the state provides more funding.

“Tuition increase is a decision of last resort,” said Toni Molle, spokeswoman for California State University. “The university’s highest priority is to secure full state funding.”

CSU’s Board of Trustees is asking for an additional $168 million in state funding, Molle said.

A vote on possible CSU tuition hikes would not happen until next year. Officials say that if it takes effect, the majority of students would likely have the costs covered by financial aid.

At Cal State schools, 61 percent of students are fully covered by financial aid, Molle said.

At the University of California, 57 percent of California undergraduate students are fully covered, said spokeswoman Claire Doan. State spending has dropped from covering 72 percent of the cost of educating a student in 2000 to 41 percent last year, she said.

The UC Board of Regents meets Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the 2017-18 budget, with details to be finalized in January.

Both institutions say they’re faced with record numbers of California high school graduates qualifying for admission and the added challenges of finding dorms, classrooms and instructors.

Critics say the tuition proposals would put too much of a burden on students already struggling to finance their educations and force more students to drop out of college.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
Air Force Officer Who Vanished Worked for University System OAKLAND, Calif. – An Air Force officer with top security clearance who vanished 35 years ago and was arrested in California last week worked for years as a consultant for the University of California system, former colleagues said. University s...
Napolitano Discusses First-Gen Students and College Affordability at Convening DENVER -- Colleges and universities across the nation should implement a wide range of wrap-around services for first-generation students, said Janet Napolitano, who leads the University of California, one of the largest public university systems in ...
US Weighs in Against University of Michigan Bullying Policy WASHINGTON— University of Michigan policies prohibiting harassment and bullying on campus are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced, the Justice Department said Monday in siding with a free-speech group that has challenged the school in court. ...
Certificate Programs for Individuals Who Want to Work in Veteran Services are Growing Over the past few years, colleges and universities around the country have seen a marked increase in students who want to be equipped to serve military veterans. Some are veterans themselves, some have personal connections and others may have taken a...
Semantic Tags: