CSU fees skyrocketing
May 15, 2008 4:20 PM
State lawmakers took measures to bring more money into the financially embattled California public higher education system Wednesday, voting to raise student fees and proposing a new plan for the state budget, according to state press releases.
Fees will increase by 10 percent for next semester’s California State University students, raising the cost of a full-time undergraduate semester at SF State to $1,881, according to a CSU press release. The fees will bring in an additional $110 million to the CSU. Of the additional $110 million, $36 million will be given to financial aid students to cover the fee increase.
Gov. Schwarzenegger’s revised budget proposal would bring in another $97.6 million. Together, the efforts would reduce the still-massive CSU cuts to $288 million.
“Today we are in a better position than yesterday,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed in a press release.
A 7.4 percent fee increase for the University of California system is also being considered today, according to the UC press office.
Officials have said that the fee increases could be eliminated if the state budget proves to be more favorable to education.
The CSU trustees voted 15-3 in favor of the fee hike, with dissenting votes from trustees Melinda Guzman, Lt. Governor John Garamendi and the student trustee, Jennifer Reimer.
A participant and speaker in the Sacramento student rally last month, Garamendi joined many who have said that the California higher education system provides the skilled workers that ultimately boost the state’s economy.
“Without these fee dollars, SF State would be forced to reduce the class schedule even further, make other cuts to the academic program, and even turn away qualified students,” said President Robert A. Corrigan, who regretted the increased fees and commended the efforts to protest the diminished budget.
State Sen. Leland Yee, who spoke earlier this semester at SF State’s teach-in about the budget, voiced his opposition to the fee increase to the [X]press.
“CSU students are already burdened to the brink,” Yee said.
A drawn-out debate between Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature has led to a later-than-usual finalization of the year’s budget, forcing planners in state education to predict the impact of the cuts themselves.
“Although the state has not yet adopted next year’s budget, the CSU is increasing fees now in order to provide students enrolled for the fall a reasonable amount of time to plan their finances,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.
Many of the efforts to address the budget have been collaborative, including the rally of students, administration, staff and faculty scheduled for this Tuesday at City Hall.
“It’s an outgrowth of the tremendous success of the April 21 rally in Sacramento,” said Lisbet Sunshine, director of Government Relations. “We’re just looking for ways to amplify that message.”
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