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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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CSU chancellor to seek 12% tuition increase

By
July 7, 2011 |

By Nanette Asimov

SAN FRANCISCO — California State University Chancellor Charles Reed will ask trustees next week to raise tuition by 12 percent, or $588 a year, to help offset a cut in state funding of at least $650 million.

The new prices would take effect immediately for the fall semester, the university reported. Tuition is already set to rise by 10 percent this fall, a decision trustees made last November.

If approved, the new annual tuition for undergraduates would grow to $5,470. In addition, mandatory campus fees are $950 and also could increase. The total price would be at least $6,420. That’s more than double the price tag of just five years ago, and 26 percent higher than students paid last fall.

The increases are needed “to avert devastating and lasting damage to student access, student services and program quality,” according to a statement released Tuesday by the university.

Trustees have raised undergraduate tuition each year for at least a decade, so approval is expected when the panel meets in Long Beach on Tuesday.

Student trustee Steve Dixon has said he will oppose any new tuition increase.

“I don’t support raising fees,” said Dixon, who is studying for his master’s degree in economics at Cal State Sacramento.

Dixon blamed state lawmakers. Higher education is no longer their priority, he said, adding that lawmakers’ underfunding of CSU will damage the California economy in coming years.

Reed’s tuition proposal is in reaction to the newly approved state budget for 2011-12, which took effect July 1. It reduced CSU’s $2.8 billion allocation by $650 million to less than $2.2 billion — with the possibility of another $100 million cut next winter if revenue forecasts fail to materialize.

CSU’s 23 campuses have been on a systemwide austerity program for about two years, reducing courses and laying off instructors, which makes it
increasingly difficult for students to graduate in four years.

At the same time, the CSU will offer two new doctoral degrees in 2012, in nursing and physical therapy. Trustees will set the tuition for both programs Tuesday.

Their tuition vote will come one day before the University of California regents make a similar decision about raising UC’s undergraduate tuition by 9.6 percent, to about $12,200 at their meeting next week in San Francisco.

— Reach Nanette Asimov at [email protected]

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