AP

Facing $1.5B deficit, California State University to hike tuition 6% annually for next 5 years

Sep 13, 2023, 5:35 PM | Updated: 6:35 pm

California State University interim Chancellor Jolene Koester, right, addresses the CSU Board of Tr...

California State University interim Chancellor Jolene Koester, right, addresses the CSU Board of Trustees, students and union members attending a meeting at the California State University chancellor's office, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Long Beach, Calif. The California State University's Board of Trustees on Wednesday planned to vote on a tuition hike for students. Their proposal would raise tuition by 6% each year for five years. Far left, Lillian Kimbell and California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Trustees at California State University, the nation’s largest public university system, voted Wednesday to raise student tuition by 6% each year for five consecutive years to try to narrow a $1.5 billion deficit, a decision that some students called “disheartening.”

The university’s governing board voted 9-0 to approve the increases that will start across the 23-campus system in the fall of 2024. Annual tuition for full-time California undergraduate students will increase by $342 next year to $6,084. By the 2028-2029 school year, those students will be paying $7,682.

The tuition hikes are needed to provide support to students, both through financial aid and programs to help them succeed academically, university officials say. The extra revenue is also needed to give more resources to faculty and staff and maintain school facilities, according to a report about the system’s finances released in May.

The report found the system with 460,000 students, many of them minorities and first-generation college students, has enough revenue to cover about 86% of what it actually costs to meet student, staff, and institution needs, leaving it with a $1.5 billion gap.

“We are at a crossroads and if we don’t do it now… it’s going to get more and more difficult,” said Julia Lopez, a CSU trustee and the co-chairperson of the working group that wrote this report.

Angelie Taylor, a junior at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo, California, said an increase in tuition will likely derail her because she is already working three part-time jobs to pay for tuition and cover housing and other expenses.

Taylor, who is a student organizer at Students for Quality Education, a progressive grassroots organization, said she doesn’t qualify for financial aid because of her GPA, which she said is low because of all the jobs she is working to make ends meet.

She said that taking a fourth job would leave her no time to study and she would have to drop out. She attended a meeting with the CSU Board of Trustees on Tuesday to explain her situation.

“It’s so disheartening to see that the board of trustees did not listen to the hundreds of us that came out yesterday,” Taylor said. “To have them completely ignore what we said and not do their job fully to secure the proper finances we need for this issue is such a big disrespect.”

Officials said tuition has only been increased once in the last 12 years — a 5%, or $270. Meanwhile, inflation grew by 39%. The university receives 60% of its funding from the state government, and the rest comes from tuition.

The five years of the tuition increase will generate a total of $860 million in revenue. Of those funds, $280 million will be committed to financial aid, school officials said.

Steven Relyea, the university system’s chief financial officer, told trustees the tuition increase will help narrow the deficit gap but it won’t close it.

The tuition hikes won’t affect about 276,000 undergraduates who have their tuition fully covered by financial aid because of their family’s low income. Several trustees said they worry about the other 40% of the undergraduates, or about 184,000 students, who don’t qualify for financial aid and who will face increased tuition. But they agreed they saw no other alternatives to stabilize the system’s finances.

“We cannot survive unless we take action. No one wants to do this but it is our responsibility,” said Jean Picker Firstenberg, a CSU trustee.

 

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

Tuesday February 9, 2006. Photo by Scott G. Winterton / Deseret Morning News.The Ten Commandments m...

Sara Cline, Associated Press

New Louisiana law requires that The Ten Commandments must be displayed classrooms

Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom.

3 hours ago

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what...

Jaime stengle and Mariana Martinez Barba

Tropical Storm Alberto forms in southwest Gulf, 1st named storm of the hurricane season

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, the first named storm of what is forecast to be a busy hurricane season.

5 hours ago

An air tanker soars through a large plume of smoke over and around wildfire-affected areas in the v...

MORGAN LEE Associated Press

At least 1 dead in New Mexico wildfire that forced thousands to flee, governor’s office says

Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled a mountainous village as a wind-whipped wildfire tore through homes and other buildings.

7 hours ago

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 19: People watch a television broadcast reporting a meeting between North...

Kim Tong-Hyung

Russia and North Korea sign partnership deal that appears to be the strongest since the Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have signed a new partnership that includes a vow of mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

8 hours ago

FILE: Members of Reedy Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church march to celebrate Juneteenth on J...

Terry Tang

The beginner’s guide to celebrating Juneteenth

Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the U.S. learned they were free.

9 hours ago

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 09: Justin Timberlake attends the Los Angeles Premiere FYC Event for ...

Associated Press

Singer Justin Timberlake arrested, accused of driving while intoxicated on New York’s Long Island

Singer Justin Timberlake was arrested early Tuesday and is accused of DUI on New York’s Long Island, authorities said.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Facing $1.5B deficit, California State University to hike tuition 6% annually for next 5 years