Students at all 23 California State University campuses across the state returned to more than just new classes this semester, as tuition and fees rose by an unprecedented 22 percent jump in just one semester.
In an effort to make up for a $650 million budget cut, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a 10 percent hike in November 2010, to take effect beginning this semester. At its July 12 meeting in Long Beach, the board voted to add another 12 percent increase on top of the already-slated rise.
“I found out that there was another increase when I started summer school,” said Mason Mullendore, 22, a design and industry major.
The increase is the latest in a series of tuition increases in recent years.
“When I first started here in fall 2007, I think I paid $1800 for the semester,” Mullendore said. “So I’ve watched it go up. It’s not very good.”
For fall 2011, resident students with more than six units at SF State will pay $3,138 for tuition and school-based fees. This compares to $2,612 for the spring 2011 semester.
Despite the increases, not everyone felt the pinch.
“I didn’t pay too much, because of FAFSA reasons,” said student Rafael Castillo, 19. “It is definitely rising, but (SF State) is still a good option. It’s a lot less expensive than other places.”
For students like Castillo, the good news is that one-third of all tuition increases will go to financial aid, according to CSU budget documents.
That still may not cover everything.
“My financial aid used to pay my tuition, and then I’d still have money for books,” Mullendore said. “This semester I had to pay $1000 after financial aid.”
In addition to the tuition increase, SF State President Robert A. Corrigan authorized a $9 increase in fees to the Student Body Association fee, bringing the total fee to $51, according to the Bursar’s Department website. That is approximately a 21 percent increase since last year.
Some students expressed concern over on-going construction projects in a time of fiscal crisis.
“I wonder about the library,” said Rebecca Hemenway, a psychology major. “And the dues increase concerns me.”
Mullendore, however, said that he thinks salaries and other costs are to blame.
“You can’t blame these increases on the library,” he said. “That has been a 10-year plan.”
According to a CSU statement, the system will face the potential of an additional $100 million cut mid-year if the state fails to generate the projected revenue that it incorporated into the budget.
If this happens, students may face an even larger tuition and fee increase in the coming semesters.