[Updated Nov. 17 to reflect tuition figures for Cal Poly Pomona, which follows the quarter calendar. Details at the end of the story.]
The California State University Board of Trustees Committee on Finance approved Nov. 9 a two-step tuition increase needed to sustain enrollment, classes and services for current students. The committee approved a mid-year increase of five percent — or $70 per quarter — for 2010-11 that will go into effect in Winter 2011 at Cal Poly Pomona.
In addition, the committee adopted a 10 percent — or $444 — annual increase for the 2011-12 academic year that would become effective for fall 2011. Student Trustee Nicole Anderson was the only committee member present to vote against the tuition increase proposals.
However, due to financial aid, an estimated 180,000 students — approximately half of all CSU undergrads — will be fully covered for the tuition increases. Additionally, tens of thousands of students not fully covered by financial aid will also benefit from newly expanded federal tax credits available for family incomes of up to $180,000.
“While we appreciate the funding that we did receive in this year’s budget, the reality is our state support is roughly the same as it was five years ago and we have 25,000 more students,” said Benjamin F. Quillian, CSU executive vice chancellor for business and finance. “In addition, part of the funding we received — $106 million — was one-time federal stimulus money that is being used at the state’s direction to admit 30,000 more students. These students will be on our campuses long after this one-time funding has been exhausted, and we have to ensure that we have the ongoing resources to support them.”
Due to the uncertainty of the state’s fiscal outlook, and also to provide students and parents with additional time for financial planning, CSU is also planning a tuition increase for 2011-12. The committee indicated that they will request the state funding needed to “buy out” the proposed 2011-12 tuition increase. If approved by the governor and legislature, these funds would make it possible for the CSU to rescind the tuition increase. The full Board of Trustees will take final action on the budget and tuition proposals Wednesday.
Mid-Year Tuition Increase
In January 2010, the Governor’s 2010-11 proposed budget assumed a 10 percent raise in CSU student tuition as part of an overall partial restoration in funding. In June, the Board of Trustees adopted a five percent increase after reviewing an Assembly budget proposal that would have provided funding for the remaining five percent. However, the additional funding was not included in the budget finally adopted by the legislature and the governor, leaving CSU resources approximately $64 million short of the governor’s budget plan for 2010-11. The mid-year tuition increase will allow the CSU to significantly restore services across the system including the addition of approximately 3,000 course offerings for winter/spring 2011. That number is expected to double in the 2011-12 academic year.
Full-time tuition for Cal Poly Pomona will increase by $444 per academic year for undergraduate students, $516 for credential program participants and $546 for graduate students for Fall 2011. Undergraduate tuition will rise from $4,440 to $4,884 per year.
Tuition Increase for 2011-2012 Academic Year
The committee also approved a recommendation to increase tuition by 10 percent for the 2011-12 academic year. The recently approved 2010-11 state budget provides partial restoration of about $260 million in state General Fund support for the CSU. In addition, the CSU received $106 million in one-time federal stimulus funds with the assumption that the funding will allow the university to serve a sharply increased level of enrollment. The planned 2011-12 tuition increase would generate approximately $121.5 million in revenue (net of financial aid). This would ensure that CSU can provide adequate courses and sections to students, and allow campuses to make decisions that are needed now to support enrollment, student services and class offerings for next fall.
Pending approval by the full board, full-time tuition will increase by $444 per academic year for undergraduate students, $516 for credential program participants and $546 for graduate students for fall 2011. Undergraduate tuition will rise from $4,440 to $4,884 per year.
The tuition for the CSU Education Doctorate program is linked by law to the University of California graduate student tuition rate.
Finally, the board will ask the governor and the legislature to “buy out” the tuition increase by providing adequate funding in the 2011-12 state budget for CSU, allowing the university to rescind the tuition increase.
CSU Tuition vs. Comparison Institutions
Despite prospective tuition increases, CSU will continue to rank among the least expensive of comparable institutions in the country. Comparing CSU’s proposed 2011-12 tuition with the current tuition rates from comparison institutions, CSU’s yearly tuition and fees of $5,834 – which includes the current average campus fee of $950 – would rank as the second lowest among 15 comparison institutions and would be $2,848 (33 percent) below the comparison average.
Financial Aid Available to Students
One third of revenue from tuition increases will be set aside for financial aid. Through the awarding of State University Grants, Cal Grants and CSU tuition and fee waivers, approximately 180,000 undergraduate students – about 50 percent of all CSU undergrads – do not pay tuition and have their tuition covered completely by financial aid. The CSU is also the largest recipient of Federal Pell Grants. Students with higher income or dependent students with higher income, may still qualify for many forms of financial aid and federal tax credits.
Updated Nov. 17: The original story stated that the mid-year 5 percent increase would be $105 for the winter/spring terms, a figure that applies to semester campuses. Because Cal Poly Pomona follows the quarter system, the tuition increase beginning winter quarter will be $70 per quarter for undergraduate students, $82 for credential program participants and $86 for graduate students. Tuition will rise from the current $1,410
to $1,480 for full-time undergraduate students.