CSU board approves 6% multi-year tuition hike

The California State University Board of Trustees unanimously voted on Wednesday to approve a 6% annual tuition increase over a five-year period.

This tuition increase will take effect starting next fall for students within the California State University (CSU) system, extending until the end of 2028-2029 academic year.

Full-time tuition costs $5,742 per student and per semester. At the end of the increase period, tuition costs will be nearly $2,000 more.

The tuition hike proposal ignited protests at the CSU Long Beach campus and other campuses in the country's largest public university system.

"We are the institution of opportunity in California. And many of our people can’t, are really struggling to pay the tuition now," said Dr. Robert Chapman Wood, a professor of strategic management at San Jose State University. "It will definitely cause fewer people to go to college."

The CSU chancellor has pointed out that the system has refrained from raising tuition for more than a decade, and the additional revenue would enable them to provide higher compensation for professors and educators.

The CSU system is also facing a budget gap of $1.5 billion.

For the 460,000 undergraduate students, this means an annual increase of $340 to $400 each.

By 2029, CSU tuition will have risen by 33% compared to the current rates.

Contract negotiations between CSU professors and the university are currently at an impasse.

Nevertheless, they are against the tuition hikes and argue that the university system should tap into its reserves to offer them higher salaries.

CSU administrators contend that 60% of students who receive financial aid and grants will not experience a tuition increase. However, this implies that the remaining 40%, totaling more than 200,000 students, will bear the financial burden.

Wednesday's decision has left a San Jose family to make a difficult decision.

Sean Allen said his daughter Tara Allen was contemplating attending a CSU. However, with the tuition increase the family is faced with a dilemma. 

The family will either need to stretch their finances significantly to cover Tara's college tuition while also setting aside funds for their son Amir's higher education, or they may have to consider relocating from the Bay Area altogether.

"Education is everything. My children are everything. That investment. But that’s a hard ask. It’s a hard thing to do even for our family," Sean Allen said.