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"Increasing the cost of attending a CSU or UC translates to more money from the pockets of students already struggling with multiple jobs and heavy class loads.” -- Assemblyman Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove)


By Miriam Raftery

November 10, 2010 (Sacramento) - California State University trustees today approved a two-step tuition increase that will raise fees by 15.5 percent over the next year. Tuition for students at CSU's 23 campuses, including San Diego State University and CSU San Marcos, will rise 5 percent in January and another 10 percent in the fall, a total of $4,884. Average fees at each campus add an additional $950--for a whopping $5,834 total hike that students must pay.


A student working his or her way through college at $10 an hour (more than many low-wage jobs pay) would have to work an addition 583.4 hours a year--or 14 weeks working FULL TIME, 40 hours a week--just to pay for the increase--not counting the hefty fees already in place.  The hike will effectively price many students out of a college education.

Assembly Higher Education Committee Chair Marty Block (D-Lemon Grove) denounced today's decision. “Fee increases have become a difficult trend in these tough economic times, but they cannot become the norm for addressing the fiscal challenges plaguing our public higher education system,” Block said. “While raising the cost of college may ease short-term financial problems, those gains will be quickly outweighed by the negative impact fee increases can have on limiting student access and decreasing retention rates across campuses…Increasing the cost of attending a CSU or UC translates to more money from the pockets of students already struggling with multiple jobs and heavy class loads.”


To ease that burden, Block called for the Legislature to look at “longer-term fixes to the chronic underfunding of higher education, and when fee increases are on the table they must be low and predictable.” He added, “These increases shine light on a broken system and as Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, I look forward to working with Governor-elect Brown to explore real solutions and to develop a long-term vision for how we are going to maintain excellent and affordable higher education systems that will ensure we are able to produce enough college graduates to keep California competitive in a global economy.”


Block noted that in an era of high fees, students rely on financial aid, Cal Grants and other forms of assistance to stay in the classroom.“Without it some students have to put their classes on hold until they can afford to continue their education,” he noted. “That is why, given the troubling nature of these increases, it is imperative that financial aid keep pace when fees go up. It is encouraging to see institutions recognizing that, and taking action to expand their financial aid programs to help students stay on track toward completing their degree.”


Last year, CSU as well as the University of California raised fees by 32%. The UC regents have proposed another 8% raise in tuition and will meet next week to vote on whether to implement the latest proposed rate hike.

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