CSU proposes 15 percent boost in nonresident tuition

By Stefanie Frith The Associated Press
Thursday March 14, 2002

SACRAMENTO — Out-of-state students may have to pay 15 percent more for tuition at California State University campuses starting this fall, under a proposal by CSU officials announced Wednesday. The tuition boost would generate an extra $11.8 million for the 22 campuses. 

If approved by the Legislature, it would be the first increase in nonresident tuition in 10 years. 

University system officials said the proposal was driven by the state’s budget crisis and will go to the system’s Board of Trustees for a vote in May. If the trustees approve it, the proposal will move to the Legislature. 

Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for Gov. Gray Davis, said he doesn’t expect to raise tuition, although the budget does call for all parts of state government, including higher education, to cut spending. 

California faces a $14.5 billion budget shortfall brought on by sagging state revenues, the collapse of the high-tech industry and financial woes related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

Davis’ $100 billion plan for 2002-03 uses spending cuts, deferred spending and loans to make up for the shortfall. The budget proposal includes $5.2 billion in spending cuts, including deep reductions to health and welfare programs and education. 

The proposed tuition increase would affect about 10,800 student, said Richard West, the system’s executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer. 

West said the board didn’t anticipate another increase for out-of-state students and that in-state tuition would not go up. 

“We had talked to students and said (an increase) was a possibility,” West said. “The last time we did was the last time we were in a crisis. I think it’s fair that citizens of the state get first treatment.” 

Not so, though, said resident Senka Filipovic, a Cal State University Sacramento sophomore and government major. 

“I don’t think it’s fair,” Filipovic said. “I think it’s just going discourage those from out of state to come to the California schools.” 

System trustees also voted Wednesday to allow more than $145 million in bonds to be sold. Bond revenue, West said, would give CSU campuses better credit ratings and help pay off bills. 

The bonds will allow the university to pool revenue from many programs, instead of specific ones, such as parking and housing. 

“This way there will always be a reserve that we can borrow from in case we need it,” West told the board. 

Each university will then repay its portion of the bond debt. 

The revenue sources pledged to this pooled program are fees from student housing, student union, parking, health center facility and continuing education. The bonds will not exceed $145.2 million.