CSU Finance Committee approves fee increase
November 10, 2010 8:06 PM
The CSU Board of Trustees Finance Committee agreed to increase student fees by 15 percent over the next year Nov. 9, despite numerous objections from audience members.
The entire board will vote on the increase today.
"I am now forced to drop out from my last semester at Cal State Fullerton because I no longer am able to afford it. I will leave Cal State Fullerton with an unfinished career opportunity and a debt to work on," said Michelle Santizo, a board member for CSU Fullerton's Associated Students, Inc. "You have already taken my dream and you will continue to take many other's dreams when you keep increasing fees."
The fee increase, approved in two motions, will raise fees by 5 percent for the spring 2011 semester and 10 percent for the 2011-2012 academic year.
"It's rather frightening to see higher education attacked by irrational decisions such as raising fees," said Priscilla Martinez, a student at CSU Dominguez Hills. "These decisions are directly affecting California State University students and holding us back from graduation."
However, even with the increase, the CSU system will be 39 percent lower than 15 other public universities across the country that the California Postsecondary Education Commission grouped for comparison with the CSUs, according to Herbert Carter, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees.
"By Comparison with the rest of the country, the CSU system has been and will remain a relatively affordable institution," he said.
The finance committee also voted to recommend to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed to change the terminology from "fees" to "tuition."
"We want to be honest in the terms we use and we're planning to start using the term 'tuition' to refer to some of the fees our students currently pay," said Benjamin Quillian, chief financial officer for the board. "This is only a change in terminology."
Still, there are implications in terms of public policy and California's approach toward higher education.
The change in terminology would change the state's mindset and allow for further increases to the CSU system said board member Melinda Guzman.
"This board, I don't believe, should be making a public policy decision that significantly alters legislative intent of creating our system," she said. "That is what I have a problem with."
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