Category Archives: News

More On Student “Success” Fees

The LA Times had written an editorial talking about the CSU Student Success fees. Here’s a blurb; they aren’t terribly enamored with them:

When fees are imposed, they should include sunset dates, so that one set of students isn’t encumbering future generations. Fees should not be used to hire full-time, permanent faculty or staff, which locks a school into higher expenses down the road in the form of salaries, raises and pension obligations. In fact, fees should not be used on instruction at all. That’s a tuition expense, not a fee. The board should not allow the creation of have and have-not campuses, setting up a situation in which students with more money pay fees that others can’t afford at the colleges that offer more courses and counselors.

New Campaign: Stop The Fees!

Students For Quality Education is currently attempting to stall or stop the current implementation of still another round of fees on the CSU student body. A 283% increase since 2002 is a trend that needs to be stop!

So, what do you know about these fees? We’re curious to know, and we’ll tell the powers that be. You can take our poll here that will help us quite a bit in letting the administration know!

Stay tuned for future actions and updates!

State Budget a Reflection of Student Power

The recent passing of the state budget by the Governor and legislature signals a shift in public policy from a previous decade of CSU budget cuts and student fee increases.  Below are some key victories:

Proposed Student Unit Caps Defeated

Earlier this year, Governor Jerry Brown released a proposal to charge college students “the full cost of instruction” if they exceeded a specified cap on the amount of course units that they could take. For CSU students who exceeded these unit caps, this would have resulted in having to pay $1,116 for every 3-unit semester class, or $744 for every 3-unit quarter class that they still needed to take.

After lobbying legislators throughout the state and gathering thousands of letters from CSU students stating their opposition to Governor Brown’s proposed unit caps, all of our hard work to stop the unit caps has paid off!

Governor Brown’s proposal to cap the amount of course units students can take before charging them out-of-state tuition rates was not included in his 2013-2014 State Budget May Revise, with the Governor’s budget revise stating:

“To improve student success, the Governor’s Budget proposed capping the number of units students can take while receiving a state General Fund subsidy at UC, CSU, and the community colleges. Given concerns that were raised, the Administration is withdrawing the proposal for this year and focusing on alternative incentives to increase cost‑effectiveness.” [emphasis added]

And with the passage of the state budget, we can now officially confirm that the unit caps proposal has been removed and defeated!

This is the second time such a proposal has been defeated since it had originally emerged in the fall of 2012 as a fee proposal by the CSU Board of Trustees.  It is a testament to student power and our ability to collectively organize that we have continued to succeed in preventing the implementation of proposals that would unfairly punish students who are struggling to graduate. This victory also demonstrates the importance of involving students and faculty in identifying real solutions to graduating on time, rather than relying on proposals that seek to scapegoat and punish students who struggle to graduate under conditions created by state budget cuts. We’d like to thank all the students, faculty and state legislators that worked to prevent yet another barrier to graduation.

Renewed Commitment for CSU Funding, with No Tuition Increases

In addition to the victory against the unit caps, the state budget includes a $125 million in additional funding for both UC and CSU, with the Governor stating his commitment to increase funding for UC & CSU by an additional 5% in 2014/15 and an additional 4% for the next two subsequent years.

And as part of his commitment for additional funding to UC & CSU, Brown has requested that both the UC & CSU systems freeze tuition rates, with no planned fee increases for these upcoming years.

Passage of “Middle Class Scholarship” Legislation Creates 40% Tuition Rollback For Many CSU Students, Starting in 2014/15

We must commend State Assembly Speaker John Perez for his success in the recent passage of the “Middle Class Scholarship” bill included with the state budget. The Middle Class Scholarship will slash student fees for UC & CSU students by up to 40% for families making under $100,000 a year and 10% for families making under $150,000 a year.  The funding needed to do this will come from the general fund revenue generated from Proposition 39, which was passed in last November’s election to close a corporate tax loophole that only benefited out-of-state corporations.

With CSU students currently paying $5,472 a year in student fees, this legislation will lower student fees to $3,283 for those with families making under $100,000.  Financial aid from this legislation will go into effect starting in the 2014-2015 academic year.

In Closing

The reinvesting in public higher education that we are starting to see is a direct result of years of student organizing and protests that have finally started to turn the tide in renewing the state’s commitment to funding public higher education.  From years of mass demonstrations, walkouts and acts of civil disobedience, to the mobilization to pass legislation such as Proposition 30, students have been instrumental in making funding for public higher education a central issue for California.

We are starting to see the beginning of a commitment to reinvest in public higher education, but we must keep in mind that since 2002, CSU has experienced over $1 billion in budget cuts, as well as a 283% increase in student fees.  In order to truly reclaim the People’s University, we must continue to organize to roll back tuition and ensure that the funding that CSU receives goes where it’s needed—into class instruction and student services.  So let us celebrate our victories and continue to organize for more!

#Capped Out: Governor Brown’s Proposal to Cap Education

For students in the California Public University, graduating on time can be tough. Tuition hikes, added fees, and a lack of available classes create roadblocks to attaining the education we need (and pay for). In fact, only 16% of CSU students graduate in 4 years.

And why is that percentage so low? In a survey of over 2,800 students, we found that 50% delayed because they can’t get the classes they need.

So it would follow that a solution to increasing graduation rates would be to provide more classes. However Governor Jerry Brown’s new budget proposal is taking a much more drastic approach.

According to the proposal, Jerry Brown is seeking to make students graduate in 5 years by charging students “the full cost of tuition” if they exceed certain unit caps. And what exactly does “the full cost of tuition” mean? Essentially that California residents will be charged at the same rate as an out of state student once they exceed these unit caps.

In Fall of 2013, students will be capped at 180 semester or 270 quarter units. In Fall of 2015, students will be capped at 150 semester or 225 quarter units, equal to about 5 years of education. Community College students will be equally effected, capped out at only 90 semester units.

How drastic is this difference? A student who took 24 units in a year would only pay about $5,472 in tuition. But an out of state student would pay $14,400, nearly 3 times the cost of in state tuition. 

What kind of students would be affected by this?

  • Students who, unable to get the classes they need, took others in order to stay enrolled, keep financial aid, campus housing etc.
  • Students who transferred in with too many units from the community college system
  • Students who’ve changed their major
  • Students who’ve double majored or minored
  • Students who took a major with high unit requirements (more than standard 120)
  • Students who’ve had to take several pre-requisite courses to take major courses

Considering how many students fit any number of the above situations, it’s clear that this proposal places unfair blame on us instead of addressing the root of the problem, that the system is set up in a way that keeps students from graduating on time.

The fact is students WANT to graduate. We DON’T want to rack up more debt. Instead of motivating us to graduate on time, this cap will only make it more difficult. Many students simply won’t be able to afford these increases and will be forced to instead drop out, a loss of investment for both students and the state as a whole.

Brown’s proposal places a cap on our education, it disinvests in students, and it creates incentives for students to drop out, rather than graduate. 

Join us in sharing why you are against the education cap by tweeting either how this would affect you or why you’re against the measure to #cappedout

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