BY DEBBIE TRUONGSTAFF WRITER
JUNE 6, 2023 5 AM PT
California State University officials are projecting tuition increases of hundreds of dollars per student as the 23-campus system attempts to close a funding gap of almost $1.5 billion.
The tuition proposal, submitted to the California State Student Assn. last month, outlined three models, with the increase for each undergraduate ranging from $174 to $462 in the first year and each subsequent year bringing another increase.
The $1.5-billion shortfall was detailed in a 70-page report presented to the university’s Board of Trustees. In the 2021-2022 school year, there was a 14% disparity between what the system spent and what it actually cost to educate students, pay salaries and keep campuses running, the report said.
Officials say that despite the proposed tuition increases, which would start in the 2024-2025 school year, a Cal State education will remain affordable — a key value for a system that prides itself as an agent of social mobility.
But for students already struggling to get by, even a small increase could be a significant burden.
Nearly half of the system’s undergraduates receive Pell Grants — federal money awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need — and nearly one-third are the first in their families to attend college.
Current undergraduate tuition is $5,742 per year, which has remained mostly flat over the last decade and is among the lowest in the country, according to the system.
Under the proposal, about 60% of CSU students would still have their full tuition covered by financial aid.