California State University regents OK tuition increase

LONG BEACH (KTVU) -- California State University students can expect to shell out more money for their education starting this fall, according to university officials.

The trustees who govern the 23-campus system, the largest in the country, voted today in Long Beach to hike tuition by $270 per year for resident undergraduate students, brining the annual cost of a CSU education to $5,742.

It's the first tuition increase since 2011 and will raise $77.5 million a year for the university when added to tuition hikes for out-of-state, graduate, doctoral and teacher credential program students, according to university officials.

Out-of-state students will see a hike of $396 per semester, graduate students will pay an additional $438 per year, doctoral candidates will see an increase of between $720 to $1,048 depending on their discipline, and students in the credential programs will face a $312 hike.

"This is not a course of action that is taken lightly," CSU executive vice chancellor Steve Relyea said in a statement.

The students most in need of financial aid won't be priced out of their schools, Relyea said.

Currently, more than 60 percent of the system's roughly 480,000 students receive sufficient grants or waivers to cover the full cost of tuition, and those students will still be fully covered by aid, according to university officials.

Students and faculty from around the system criticized the trustees' decision to raise tuition.

"Today students hoped that the CSU Board of Trustees would choose to vote against a tuition increase, placing the pressure back on the state to fully fund our system," California State Student Association president David Lopez said.

On Tuesday, some students at San Jose State University walked out of classes to protest the hike.

"After not raising the tuition for five years, the CSU administration and our California state government are putting the burden of the CSU's financial expenses on the students," student organizers said in a written statement.

Jennifer Eagan, president of the California Faculity Association and a professor at CSU East Bay, also expressed disappointment in the trustees' decision.

"Those of us who teach the more than 450,000 CSU students striving to earn their degrees are painfully aware that the CSU system is severely underfunded," Eagan said in a statement. "We feel it in our classrooms, in talking with our students, and in how many faculty and staff struggle to support our own families."

"At the same time, we are well aware that returning to the failed strategy of piling ever-increasing costs and debt onto CSU students will never solve that problem," she said.