Cal State Universities Will Potentially Increase Tuition For In-State Students

Students from across the system’s 23 campuses protest outside the Cal State trustees board meeeting Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Long Beach, Calif. (Iran Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The Cal State University Board of Trustees voted in March to increase tuition by 5 percent for in-state students in the upcoming 2017 – 2018 school year. Tuition for out-of-state students, graduate, and teacher credential programs will potentially increase as well.

  • Resident undergraduate students’ tuition will increase by $270 to $5,742.
  • Tuition for resident students in credential programs, such as future teachers, would increase by $312 to $6,660.
  • Resident graduate students’ tuition would increase by $438 to $7,176.

The increase is to improve the quality of education by providing more faculty, advisors and adding more courses.

“I don’t bring this forward with an ounce of joy,” said Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White, addressing the packed meeting chamber. “I bring it with necessity.”

The 2017 semester is coming to an end and students transferring to a CSU feel a sense of being trapped with unforeseen costs.  SAC transfer student Victoria Alonso, who currently attends CSU Northridge experienced major miscommunication regarding courses required and will need to attend college an additional year. “Now I have to pay an extra year with an increase in tuition on top of that,” Alonso frustratingly said.

Many SAC students decided to attend community college after high school instead of a 4 year university because influx of tuition.  “Having three or four years of education and dropping out only because it’s more expensive would be a waste of time and money,” sophomore Marisela Perez said.  “If I was fresh out of high school I would be very discouraged to go to college.”

With pessimistic and frustrated students, there are few seeing the glass half full.  According to CSU Public Affairs Manager, Elizabeth Chapin, Trustees requested state funding in the amount of $324.9 million and only received approximately $168 million due to budget cuts.  Protestors and speakers are currently in Sacramento advocating on student’s behalf to try to approve the increase in the state budget in order to provide for Cal Grants and financial aid.  The final budget for state funding will be released in June, after a majority of CSUs require tuition payments. “Students could be refunded or receive credit for tuition that is already paid for,” Chapin said.

Despite this being the first tuition increase in the past five years, 60 percent of CSU undergraduates do not pay for tuition due to financial aid covering their tuition.  Households with an annual income of less than $70,000 have their tuition covered by financial aid.  “You will just need to be on top of your FAFSA deadlines,” Chapin said. There is no specific timeline on how often these increases will occur.

Chapin said the budget increase is to help improve the quality of education by providing more faculty, advisors, and courses, essentially resulting in efficient graduation rates.