June 1, 2004 Vol. VIII, No. 17

CSU Trustees Raise Student Fees for Upcoming Academic Year

Move Averts Further Student Enrollment Reductions, Helps Maintain Quality Education

California State University trustees voted May 19 to raise 2004/05 student fees, heading off further enrollment reductions in a fiscal downturn that has slashed more than a half billion dollars from the system's budget.

The 2004/05 state university fee for undergraduates will increase by 14 percent, by 20 percent for teacher credential program participants, and by 25 percent for other post-baccalaureate and graduate students. Trustees also approved a 20 percent increase for non-resident students.

For undergraduate state residents, the annual fee will amount to $2,334. Credential program students will pay $2,706 and graduate students $2,820. Out of state students will pay the applicable state university fee plus a surcharge of $339 per unit. All CSUN students also pay $444 a year in campus fees.

"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."

As part of the May 19 vote, trustees set aside 20 percent of fee increase revenue for student financial aid. CSUN students who receive Cal Grants or State University Grants will have those awards increased to fully offset the fee hike.

In mid-May, the CSU reached agreement with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on a six-year education "compact" that proposes: 1) a 3 percent state general fund increase for the system in 2005/06 and 2006/07, 2) a 4 percent increase to the prior year's base budget from 2007/08 through 2010/11 for basic needs such as salary increases and health benefits, and 3) an additional 1 percent increase in the CSU budget in 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 to address budgetary shortfalls in funding for instructional and research support.

The compact's promise of state financial support and continued conservative fiscal policies at CSUN should help the university maintain tenure/tenure-track faculty and permanent staff, although President Jolene Koester has indicated the "coming year promises to be a tight one for the university's budget."

Gov. Schwarzenegger has committed to limit CSU 2004/05 budget cuts to $240 million. With those cuts, Cal State Northridge will have to address a projected $15.6 million general fund budget shortfall.

Because of the cuts, Northridge has been given a reduced student enrollment target for 2004/05: 23,172 full-time equivalent students, a 5 percent drop.

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

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