Cal State tuition hikes spark controversy this transfer season

TOVA KIBAL, Channels Staff

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It is midst spring semester and City College students are getting ready to transfer to a school of their choice, but a controversial tuition raise has gone through for the California State Universities.

The Cal State Board of Trustees voted 11-8 in favor of increasing the California State University tuition on Wednesday, March 22, in Long Beach, California.

The proposed changes that would soon become reality caused students from 23 different campuses to gather in protests opposing the raise outside the building where the voting took place.

Undergraduate in-state students’ tuition will increase by ​$270. This increase makes the tuition for an undergraduate student worth ​$5,742. For credential students it will be raised $312, and for graduate students it is $438.

This is a high price tag for education, something that already concerns many City College students with the dream to transfer.

‘‘A lot of people can’t afford school already,’’ said kinesiology major Jelan Hutton. ‘‘I don’t think this will make the situation any better.’’

With his eyes on Cal State Northridge, Hutton’s family earns too much, making him ineligible for financial aid. The cost for tuition is high enough that he is still facing the struggle of possibly not affording to accomplish his academic goals.

‘‘Students today are coming out of college with extreme debt,’’ Hutton added. ‘’I know I will.’’

According to Saúl Quiroz, financial aid director at City College, the tuition raise will not affect students who have an annual household income of $70,000 or less. About 60% of students met these financial aid eligibility requirements before the tuition increase.

Students eligible for Cal State grants will also not be affected because they will most likely go up with the raise. In that way, their tuition is still covered.

‘‘As fees go up, schools attempt to award the students for that,’’ Quiroz said. ‘‘Cal Grants recipients are lucky in that way because they won’t be affected.’’

The raise is going to serve to decrease the existing gap in needed funding for the Cal States. They need to meet higher demands by adding faculty, classes and advisors over their 23 different campuses in the state of California. According to the California State University’s website, the raise in tuition will help this purpose.

According to their website, the tuition has remained unchanged since 2011 but more money is needed to improve the graduation rates, which is one of the Cal State’s main goals. The university system still receives state funding but this has shown to not be enough to cover their ambitious plans for the future of their campuses.

As these changes occur, Quiroz pointed out that students wanting to transfer should make sure they go and find out what their options are. Many are eligible for receiving funding or grants, and this may determine what options a student has for their future studies.

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