By Samantha Bartholomew
California State Universities increase tuition by five percent
The California State University Board of Trustees passed an act to raise their tuition for the first time in six years during a board meeting March 22.
This new development, an addition to the Working Families Student Transparency and Accountability Act, increases student tuition by five percent.
The tuition increase will raise undergraduate tuition by $270, graduate tuition by $438 and several certificates, doctoral and international tuition by several hundred dollars. The board made an amendment to the proposal before voting that will require the chancellor to repeal the increase in the event the 2017-2018 CSU support budget request is fully funded.
According to meeting attendees, many students that attended came dressed in caps and gowns with “Debt” written on price tags around their necks in a display of protest for the increase.
With the systemwide increase going into effect starting the fall 2017 semester, CSU students worry how this increase will affect their future financial status.
“This increase makes the idea of paying for school in the coming years really stressful,” said Victoria Edwards, freshman at CSU Northridge.
While the student body was informed about the probability of a tuition increase before its passing, some were led to believe that returning students would be exempt from the increase.
“Many of us were under the impression that those already attending the college wouldn’t have to pay the extra money,” said Justin Bradley, freshman at CSU Channel Islands.
Many students have stated that the tuition increase adds to the much larger problem of college attendance in general.
“A lot of students choose CSUs for their lower cost tuition,” said Edwards.
According to the CSU Committee on Finance’s agenda for the meeting, the tuition increases were made necessary by a $167.7 million gap between the CSU support budget request and Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal. The tuition increase is meant to add more quality professors to their staff, add additional classes and provide a higher quality of education for their students.
According to a statement from the office of CSU Chancellor Timothy White, the increases will generate $77.5 million in net revenue, which will be directed to programs such as an initiative to double four year graduation rates.
According to the Cal State website, the state’s declining support of their students combined with enrollment demands increasing has created an “unsustainable trend.”
I’m a bit on the fence about it really. More teachers would be great, but is the tuition increase really necessary?” said Bradley.
Edwards said she believes increasing the quality of learning begins with providing a better teaching environment for current professors. She commented that many classrooms at Northridge are still making the switch from blackboards to dry erase boards.
“I believe that the increase is not the best course of action compared to updating the facilities and providing more resources for professors,” said Edwards.
The subject of college debt has been long agonized over as graduating high school seniors make the decision on whether or not to continue their education.
“College should be an option that is available to everyone, not a privilege for those who can afford it,” said Sarah Parker, freshman at CSU Channel Islands.