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Cal State tuition could rise 9% next fall

The system is seeking $397 million in increased funding for the 2012-13 school year to prevent the hike.

November 10, 2011|By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times

California State University students could see tuition rise 9% next fall unless the state boosts funding to cover enrollment growth, urgent maintenance, student services and other costs, officials said Wednesday.

The proposal is included in a Cal State budget request that seeks $397 million in increased funding for the 2012-13 school year. The Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the plan Wednesday at a meeting in Long Beach.

The tuition hike would mean an additional $498 annually for full-time undergraduates, raising the yearly tuition bill to $5,970 from $5,472. With average mandatory campus fees of $1,047, the cost of attendance would rise to $7,017, not including books and housing.

The tuition increase, which would raise about $138 million, would be avoided if the state grants the university's full funding request. Cal State leaders are seeking approval now to give students and parents as much notice as possible, officials said.

"This gives us some sort of foundation of what our budget is going to be so that we're looking at some predictable funding, hopefully," spokesman Michael Uhlenkamp said.

The budget request includes nearly $155 million for 5% enrollment growth — about 20,000 students, $85 million for faculty and staff raises, $72 million for technology, maintenance and equipment upgrades, and about $26 million for mandatory health, energy and other costs.

The likelihood of the university receiving its full request appears slim. Cal State and the University of California each lost $650 million in state funding this year and could lose $100 million more midyear if revenues fall below projections.

If tuition is raised, it would be the sixth straight year of such hikes. Current Cal State tuition still is lower than at most comparable public institutions, officials noted.

Student leaders said they oppose another increasebut that the budget proposal places responsibility with lawmakers.

"Students are seeing increasing costs, decreasing quality and decreasing access," said Gregory Washington, 21, president of the California State Student Assn. and a senior on the Fullerton campus. "But I support giving the Legislature the opportunity to buy out the tuition increase. It puts the ball in their court in terms of defining the quality of higher education they want to see."

carla.rivera@latimes.com

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