Responses To The Crisis Facing California Higher Education: Concerns About Differential Fees For Graduate & Postbaccalaureate Study For Students Attending The California State University

AS-2151-93/GA - May 6-7, 1993

WHEREAS, A candid and realistic appraisal of the evidence at hand requires the conclusion that California's commitment to generous support for a high quality higher education has been substantially lost, and will not be recovered in the reasonably foreseeable future; and

WHEREAS, Without a significant enhancement of the revenues received from students, either the quality of instruction in the California State University will be unacceptably reduced, or access will be artificially and unacceptably reduced as professors are laid off and classes are canceled due to budget reductions; and

WHEREAS, The Trustees of the California State University have responded to this new policy environment by adopting on March 17, 1993, a policy entitled "Quality and Affordability: Policies for Pricing and Strategies for Paying"; and

WHEREAS, As a part of its broader policy statement, "Quality and Affordability: Policies for Pricing and Strategies for Paying" the CSU Board of Trustees included a section on "Principles for a New Pricing Structure"; and

WHEREAS, The third such principle for a new pricing structure is "Differential Fees for Graduate (Postbaccalaureate) Study"; and

WHEREAS, The CSU Trustees' policy statement entitled, "Quality and Affordability: Policies for Pricing and Strategies for Paying" envisions, with further respect to principle three, "a specific exception to the policy of differential fees for postbaccalaureate education credential candidates, whose service is so essential to the future of California that the lower undergraduate fee structure should continue for those students"; and

WHEREAS, Not all instruction offered at the graduate level benefits from resource allocations per FTES larger than those given for undergraduate instruction; and

WHEREAS, Graduate and postbaccalaureate students who enroll in undergraduate courses do not ordinarily receive instruction that is supported more generously than that received by undergraduates in the same class; and

WHEREAS, Ordinary principles of fairness would militate against charging graduate and postbaccalaureate students a differentially higher fee on the basis that their instruction is more costly unless it is; and

WHEREAS, A further "principle for a new pricing structure," namely "continue fee structures that differentiate for part-time and full-time study" apparently contemplates maintaining one fee for students enrolled in 6 units or fewer and another fee for students enrolled in more than six units; and

WHEREAS, Job demands, economic resources, and family responsibilities typical of graduate and postbaccalaureate students in the California State University often make it impossible for them to enroll in more than one course per quarter or semester; and

WHEREAS, Many graduate and postbaccalaureate students would be inappropriately required to pay fees as if taking two courses when in fact enrolling in only one course, if fee structures included different prices pegged only to a six unit divide; and

WHEREAS, CSU graduate and postbaccalaureate students are typically self-supporting and hence economically vulnerable to differentially higher fees; and

WHEREAS, Advanced degree holders are critical to the future well-being and economic and social health of the state; and

WHEREAS, Differentially higher fees for baccalaureate and postbaccalaureate students or instruction will discourage the taking of classes at California State University; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Academic Senate CSU regard the option of charging graduate and postbaccalaureate students differentially higher fees to be poor public policy and regret the extremely adverse budget and policy circumstances that led the Board of Trustees to adopt it; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor and the CSU Board of Trustees to work with it to lessen the negative impact of proposed differentially higher fees for graduate and postbaccalaureate students, if and when any such fees are authorized by the legislature, by adopting the following principles for the levying and use of any such fees:

  • Fees and other charges to students be levied not on the basis of student status (such as graduate or postbaccalaureate versus undergraduate), but instead on the basis of the level of the course offering (undergraduate versus graduate);

  • If students are charged differentially higher fees for instruction beyond the undergraduate level, that any extra funds received be used to support instruction beyond the undergraduate level;

  • Presidents be required to account in detail for the use of funds received from students taking instruction beyond the undergraduate level in order to demonstrate the use of any extra funds for the support of graduate or postbaccalaureate instruction;

  • Presidents be charged to recognize in internal campus allocations that graduate and postbaccalaureate education are both integral to the mission of the CSU and deserving of resource support appropriate to the extra effort that faculty must provide for quality graduate and postbaccalaureate instruction;

  • A fee structure be developed on a per-unit basis for graduate and postbaccalaureate students;

  • Fee and/or tuition waivers be provided on a wide basis to graduate and postbaccalaureate students on the basis of their contributions to the campuses (e.g. as teaching or research assistants), on the basis of economic hardship, on the basis of displaced worker status or job retraining needs, and on other suitable bases;

  • Financial aid through grants and loans be made widely and generously available to graduate and postbaccalaureate students.
; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Academic Senate CSU urge the Chancellor and the CSU Board of Trustees to work with it to evaluate any new fee policy imposing differentially higher fees for graduate and postbaccalaureate students and, if it is found to adversely impact state priorities for higher education, including the preparation of persons from traditionally underrepresented groups and women for entry into the professions and other leadership positions, to modify the policy as rapidly as possible.


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