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Olsen bill would offer CSU students fixed tuition fees

Assemblywoman asks for local input

POSTED January 18, 2013 10:04 p.m.

Tuition rates for incoming freshmen and transfer students may be more affordable, if a CSU Tuition Guarantee Bill introduced by Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen gets passed.

The Modesto Republican introduced legislation known as AB 138 that would guarantee a fixed tuition rate to incoming freshman and transfer students for the next four years.

“Students and parents deserve a reliable and reasonable tuition rate so they can plan for the investment,” said Olsen, a former CSU administrator and member of the Assembly Higher Education committee. “This bill will help new college students acquire a quality education without the fear of being priced out of their degree program before they finish.”

Olsen, who was also a former assistant vice president for communications and public affairs at California State University, Stanislaus, has experienced firsthand how the increases in tuition over the past five years has affected families.

“Some students were forced to delay their  graduation because they were unable to pay their tuition,” said Olsen.  “Others would drop.  Since 2008, tuition has risen up to 63 percent.”

The annual tuition fee for CSU Stanislaus has increased from $2,520 in 2006 to $5,472 in 2012.

AB 138 will guarantee in-state students who enroll at California State Universities a static tuition rate for the first four years of their college career. Transfer students will receive a fixed tuition for two years. Students must remain in good academic standing and retain a full-time academic schedule.

“In the past, the state’s inability to get its fiscal house in order has been balanced on the backs of students, parents and educators,” said Olsen. “With the Governor’s new commitment to fiscal restraint, and his budget plan to allocate $250 million more to CSU and UC, I believe this bill is the next logical step in ensuring that unpredictable tuition costs are no longer a barrier for California’s students.”

It will take about 30 days before the legislation could be heard in front of a committee.

“We are very hopeful that this bill gets passed before the committee,” said Olsen.  “In the meantime, we urge students and parents who support the bill to call our office and send letters detailing your struggles with the increase of tuition.”

 

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