State Budget Crisis Forces CSU Board to
Increase Student Fees for 2004-05

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu, 562-951-4800

(May 19, 2004) The California State University’s Board of Trustees today voted to increase the State University Fee for 2004-05 by 14 percent for undergraduates, 20 percent for qualified teacher credential program participants, and 25 percent for other post-baccalaureate and graduate students. In addition, the board approved an increase of 20 percent for non-resident students.

The proposed fee increases allow the CSU not to reduce enrollment further or layoff many more faculty and staff in the midst of a budget crisis that has taken away more than one-half billion dollars from the university’s budget in the last three years. To mitigate these reductions, the governor proposed that the CSU implement student fee increases that would raise $101.5 million in new revenue for the fiscal year 2004-05.

“This fee increase is a painful decision and one of many difficult issues the CSU has faced during this budget crisis,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “The CSU has done what is necessary to maintain educational quality and ensure that students currently enrolled in the system get the classes they need to make steady progress toward graduation.”

Effective in fall 2004, the fee increases will make the annual undergraduate state resident fee $2,334, the credential program student fee $2,706, the graduate student fee $2,820, and the undergraduate out-of-state student fee $10,170. In addition, students also pay an annual campus fee that currently averages $526.

“At this time we have no other choice but to approve these increases,” said Trustee Murray L. Galinson during the Finance Subcommittee meeting. “The legislature should look at other ways to pay for higher education and for means to relieve the added burden especially for graduate students.”

This is the third fee increase to CSU students within the last three years. During the same period the CSU’s budget has been reduced by more than 21.6 percent. In fiscal year 2004-05, the CSU will receive a $240 million cut that follows a $311 million cut the previous year.

Student Trustee M. Alex Lopez, who cast the only dissenting vote, said he was troubled by the added burden on students and their families. He called for all CSU constituents to continue working with the legislature to find additional means that ensure that the CSU continues fulfilling its educational mission and guarantees that students get the access and educational opportunities they deserve.

Throughout the current state budget crisis, CSU campuses and the Chancellor’s Office have eliminated or left vacant the positions of hundreds of full-time and part-time staff as well as at least one thousand faculty lecturers to bridge budget gaps. Other reductions include elimination of non-essential travel, deferred maintenance, equipment, and reductions in libraries.

As part of the vote, the Board also approved to set aside 20 percent of the revenue raised by the fee increase for student financial aid. Ordinarily, CSU fee policy requires that one-third of the increase in state university fees be applied to financial aid. However, in an effort to mitigate the state budget reductions, the Governor proposed to reduce the set aside this year to one-fifth of the new fee revenues. Once the fee increase is applied, the State University Grant program (SUG) will have an additional $15 million to fund 10,000 new grant awards with an average adjustment of $25 less per grant.

With the fee increase approved today, CSU fees continue to be among the lowest in the nation and less than the average fee of the CSU comparison higher education institutions. In 2003-04 the average fee for those 15 institutions was $5,272, including campus fees. The new average fee for CSU students including campus fees will be approximately $2,860.

The fee increases were part of a Higher Education Compact reached earlier this month between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the CSU and UC systems. The agreement provides the CSU with increased funding beginning in 2005-06 and continuing through 2010-11. The agreement also means that the CSU will be able to plan for an annual 2.5 percent student enrollment increase beginning in 2005-06.

“The compact allows the CSU to see some light at the end of the tunnel after several extremely tough years,” said Chancellor Reed. “The funding provided by the compact is not a ceiling but a floor that we can work from. It provides stability, and a way to plan for the future.”

State University Fees Approved Today:

Academic Year Undergraduate
14%
Graduate Teacher Credential
20%
Graduate
25%
Non-Resident
20%
2004-05 $2,334 $2,706 $2,820 $10,170
2003-04 $2,046 $2,256 $2,256 $8,460
In addition, all students pay campus fees that vary campus-by-campus and average $526.
Non-resident students pay the State University Fee, non-resident fee and campus fees.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 409,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 77,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu

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Last Updated: May 19, 2004

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