Get Ready to Pay More For School
November 4, 2004 7:50 PM
After several years of steep fee increases, SF State students will find themselves paying even more tuition for Fall 2005.
On October 28, the CSU Board of Trustees voted 15-3 to increase student fees. After the budget is approved by the state legislature, student fees will be hiked by eight percent, amounting to a $186 increase for undergrads and a $215 increase for graduate students.
“The budget was planned and based on the higher education compact with the governor," said Clara Potes-Fellow, a CSU spokesperson. “That compact called for an 8 percent fee increase for both the UC system and the CSU system.”
Governor Schwarzenegger and the heads of the UC and CSU systems made the Higher Education Pact behind closed doors in May. The pact calls for the both systems to raise their funds yearly for the next several years. In return, Schwarzenegger promised to begin returning funding to the system in 2005. Until then, the CSU is financially strapped.
“The CSU has sustained budget cuts for the past three years,” said Potes-Fellow. “The CSU needs to increase revenue in order to provide the instruction and the faculty necessary to help students.”
“The reality is the CSUs have not received enough funding from the general fund to meet the need,” said Eric Guerra, a member of the CSU Board of Trustees and a student at Sacramento State. Guerra was one of the three dissenting votes. “And so the student trustees are forced to look at students as the other options to collect revenue. The root problem is not at the trustee level. That’s the final stage. The root problem is in financing public education. And that comes from the state level.”
Many feel that the state should be doing more now to cover the cost of education.
“It’s necessary to have a certain amount of funding in order for us to have the system funded well, but to me the focus should be on holding the legislature accountable,” said David Abella, president of the SFSU Associated Students. “So although it’s necessary to have more revenue, and more fees, more general fund support, the key should really be on holding the legislature accountable for funding higher education fully.”
Some worry that the recent spate of tuition hikes is pricing students out of an education.
“In a period of five years, (yearly) CSU fees will have gone up by a thousand dollars,” Guerra said. “That’s pretty significant. What that means to middle class families is the inability to pay for books, rent… it’s difficult to come up with the amount of money that it’s costing for student fees nowadays.”
Students are not much happier.
"An increase will suck, either way," said SF State student Vanessa Mora. "I'll probably need to work more hours in order to help balance out having to pay for increased tuition."
SF State Student Catharine Escarcesa also expressed surprised at another tuition hike coming so soon after last year's.
"I guess for people who can't afford it, it's kind of [prohibitive]," Escarcesa said.
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