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CSU students to see fee hike, once again

POSTED July 12, 2011 8:33 p.m.

Tuition at California State University campuses will rise once again, increasing $294 per semester for full-time undergraduates.

The CSU Board of Trustees approved the tuition hike Tuesday, in response to an additional $150 million cut in state funding for the CSU system, adopted in the 2011-2012 state budget.

The reduction, added to a $500 million cut adopted early in the budget process and a further, possible $100 million mid-year cut tied to state revenue forecasts, would reduce CSU state funding to $2 billion. More than 27 percent of the CSU funding would be cut, year-over-year, and funding would be reduced to the 1997-1998 level, though the CSU now serves an additional 90,000 students.

In response to the $500 million cut, the CSU previously reduced enrollment by 10,000 students and slashed campus budgets. The magnitude of the most recent cut made a tuition hike the only option, CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said.

“The enormous reduction to our state funding has left us with no other choice if we are to maintain quality and access to the CSU,” Reed said. “We will focus on serving our current students by offering as many classes and course sections as possible. We will also be able to open enrollment for the spring 2012 term, which is critical for our community college transfer students.”

The new, 12 percent tuition increase follows a 10 percent, $222 per semester tuition increase approved by trustees in November. In total, undergraduate CSU students will pay an extra $1,137 per academic year compared to 2010-2011, bringing annual tuition to $5,472, plus campus-specific fees.

Almost half of CSU undergraduates – nearly 170,000 students – will see the tuition increase covered by grants and fee waivers. One-third of the tuition increase will be set aside specifically for financial aid.

Those not covered by financial aid may apply for federal tax credits, the CSU said, available for families earning up to $180,000.

The 12 percent tuition increase tallies $339 for credential program participants and $360 for graduate students.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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