Daily 49er

Cal State University system proposes first tuition increase in five years

The potential increase would be expected to bring in $77.7 million in revenue.

A sign hung on the Prospector Pete statue on upper campus Thursday morning denounces student debt.

A sign hung on the Prospector Pete statue on upper campus Thursday morning denounces student debt.

Gary Metzker

Gary Metzker

A sign hung on the Prospector Pete statue on upper campus Thursday morning denounces student debt.

Miranda Andrade-Ceja, Managing Editor

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News of a potential Cal State University tuition increase broke on Facebook after California State Student Association advocacy officer Sarah Bentley posted a status detailing the proposed cost hike on Thursday.

CSSA is a student-advocacy organization that lobbies in Sacramento each year for the CSU system. There is an optional payment of a $2 CSSA fee on MyCSULB to support the efforts.

So far, there has not been a mass email sent to students informing them of the possible hike.

The tuition increase would be implemented for the 2017-2018 school year. With this hike, undergraduate programs would see cost increases up to $270 per year, credential programs would see costs up to $312 per year and graduate programs would see hikes up to $438 per year.

The proposal will be discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 15-16 at the CSU Office of the Chancellor in downtown Long Beach. Following the November meeting, the proposal will be voted on during the Jan. 25-27 session.

In response, student advocates chalked the walkways running through the Liberal Arts buildings in protest, writing phrases such as “No more tuition!” and hanging a sign on the Prospector Pete statue reading: “Abolish student debt now!”

In a document released by the Office of the Chancellor, the tuition hike is being proposed in anticipation of insufficient funds allocated through the California government’s 2017-18 budget.

According to the document, research revealed that “priority areas” in the CSU would require an estimated $346 million in new revenue; however, the CSU expects a government allocation of $157.2 million, which would leave a $168.8 million funding gap.

The CSU preliminary 2017-18 budget plan details these priority areas, allocating $75 million toward the 2025 graduation initiative and $40 million toward enrollment growth, among other things.

The last overall tuition increase occurred in the 2011-12 school year, when undergraduate program costs rose from $4,400 to $5,472 for full time students and graduate costs went from $5,472 to $6,738 for full time students.

This does not include the fall 2013 CSU executive order 1070, a student success fee that added an extra payment of $270 per year per student.

Bentley, who oversees all CSSA chapters, said CSSA intends on making an effort to increase student awareness regarding the increase as well as focus on proactive ways of funding the budget gap outside of tuition increases. She also said that CSSA is working on plans to discuss CSU funding with state legislatures.

“All of the other board members were informed about this [increase] just on [Oct. 16], so I know that every campus is working on plans to educate students — whether it’s holding open forums, having those discussions with students or having awareness campaigns,” she said.

Bentley said that there is little chance of the proposal dying before it hits the Board of Trustees floor on Jan. 25-27.

She hopes to pursue dialogue with students in the general population as well as connect with student activists in opposition to the tuition increase.

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