Community Colleges may Balance CSU Enrollment Hikes, Budget Falls
Budget cuts hit freshmen, transfer and graduate students, financial aid recipients.
March 2, 2004 3:00 PM
The California State University may redirect approximately 4,000 freshmen to the 108 state community colleges if Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposed budget is approved by the state legislature in May.
In his budget proposal, Gov. Schwarzenegger told CSU officials to redirect 10 percent of their incoming freshmen to the community colleges. But Patrick Lenz, CSU assistant vice chancellor for budget development, said CSUs instead will ask for a 5 percent cut of the total enrollment so the system can have more latitude in who are turned away. That comes out to about 20,000 students, mainly entering freshmen, graduate students and transferring juniors from community colleges.
The governor's budget increases system funding by $211 million, including $120 million from Proposition 98, which supports community colleges. Overall, the governor’s budget provides a 4.4 percent increase in program funding for the community colleges.
In 1996, the trustees approved a get-tough policy. All freshmen who had not already shown they could do college-level work would have to do so within their first 15 months of college or be kicked out of school.
Clara Potes-Fellow, spokeswoman for the CSU, said, “If the proposed budget is passed, students who are redirected to community colleges will get fee waivers. There will be no cost to students; this is due to Proposition 98. And community colleges have lower costs.”
As far as the enrollment of students other than freshmen, Volkert said, “Second BA students will be accepted only if they enter specifically identified programs that receive grant funding or have other unique characteristics. Under the governor’s proposed budget, students who take courses that are in 10 percent excess of general education requirements, major or minor requirements, will pay full tuition for those classes.”
No official statements from the CSU or the state department of finance have been issued as to which junior transfer and graduate students will be accepted for Fall 2004, but the prospects are not encouraging.
In addition to fee hikes, students will also be hit with reduced financial aid. The proposed budget states $11.2 million will be cut by lowering the maximum allowable income of Cal Grant recipients by ten percent.
It also proposes to decouple Cal Grant awards from the fee levels in the CSU – in other words, grant monies may not rise along with rises in fees. Under the present policy, Cal Grant awards would be increased to cover the proposed undergraduate fee increases proposed for the CSU.
» Academic Senate for California Community Colleges represents the faculty of the Community Colleges, ensuring effective participation in the formation of statewide policies on academic and professional matters. The Academic Senate strengthens and supports the local academic senates of the 108 California Community Colleges.
» Legislative Analyst's Office has been providing fiscal and policy advice to the Legislature for more than 55 years. It is known for its fiscal and programmatic expertise and nonpartisan analyses of the state's budget.
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