By Pedro Cruz
The California State University Board of Trustees approved a 5 percent tuition increase for all 23 campuses statewide on March 22.
Annual undergraduate tuition will go from $5,472 to $5,742 — a $270 raise. Credential program tuition will increase from $6,348 to $6,660 — a $312 raise. Graduate tuition will increase from $6,738 to $7,176 — a $438 raise.
The fee hikes will take effect in time for the 2017-18 academic year. These are the first increases in six years and will generate a projected $77.5 million.
Despite student protesters who rallied against the tuition increase outside of CSU headquarters in Long Beach, chanting and holding signs that read “#DearBOT Education is a Right, NOT a BU$iNE$$! #lowereducation.” and “#freetheCSU,” trustees approved the tuition increase with a 11-8 vote.
A proposed state budget in January by Gov. Jerry Brown would fall $168 million short of the trustees’ request to fully fund the CSU.
An amendment was introduced by Trustee Jane Carney, requiring the CSU to refund students their money if the request to fully fund the CSU is met.
The amendment also called for the projected $77.5 million tuition increase revenue to be spent on the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025.
This proposal aims to graduate students faster by hiring more faculty and advisors and providing more classes.
Inside the meeting, protesters wore black graduation gowns, symbolic for student debt. Students also interrupted trustees’ comments with chants like “the more we pay, the longer we stay,” and “students united will never be divided.”
The CSU issued a statement that more than 60 percent of all CSU students receive grants or waivers to cover the full cost of tuition, so more than 255,000 students will not be affected by the spike in costs.
In all, 80 percent of CSU students receive some form of financial aid, and the university distributed more than $4 billion in aid in 2015-16.