California State University

A Cal State panel concluded that a reliance on state funding is no longer sufficient to expand enrollment, expedite the time it takes to earn a degree and pay for technology and facility upgrades.

Carla Rivera
October 2, 2015

  • Cal State panel proposes tuition hikes

The California State University system should institute tuition increases for California residents and out-of-state students, begin year-round academic schedules and provide campus funding based on graduation and other rates, a new panel suggests.

The 12-member university committee concluded that a reliance on state funding, even in a growing economy, is no longer sufficient to expand enrollment, expedite the time it takes to earn a degree and pay for badly needed technology and facility upgrades.

The report is scheduled for discussion by Cal State trustees at their November board meeting. Proposals are still in draft stage, and a final report will be presented in January.

The tuition proposal especially is likely to spark opposition from students and many lawmakers who say that annual rates — currently $5,472 for undergraduates — already are too high and lock out many qualified students.

The 23-campus Cal State system has not raised fees for four years under a plan by Gov. Jerry Brown that provides the higher education system incremental increases in state funding.

That growth, however, is far from making up for budget cuts during the recession that surpassed $1 billion for the Cal State and University of California systems.

During negotiations over the 2015-16 budget, UC eventually pulled back on a threat to raise tuition as much as 28% over five years after striking a deal with Brown for more funding.

Both Cal State and UC have long argued that extended periods without tuition hikes are not sustainable because of inflationary increases in such areas as healthcare, energy, salaries and pensions.

Small and predictable adjustments in tuition and fees allow students to more easily plan for education costs, officials contend, and would avoid the need for dramatic annual spikes such as the 22% hike at Cal State in 2011-12.

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