Cal State U. panel approves 12 percent tuition hike

Cal State U. panel approves 12 percent tuition hike »Play Video
California State University police ask university students to back away from a window, as they protest outside of the CSU Chancellor's Office Tuesday, July 12, 2011, in Long Beach, Calif. The Cal State University Board of Trustees' finance committee passed a resolution to raise tuition by 12 percent starting this fall. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — California State University on Tuesday approved another 12 percent increase in tuition this fall to offset a deeper-than-expected cut in state funding.

The CSU Board of Trustees passed the tuition hike of nearly $600 a year with a 12-2 vote. It came on top of a previously approved 10 percent increase for the 23-campus system.

"These are not easy choices," board Chairman Herbert Carter said. "We don't take great delight in doing this. We do it because we think it is in the best interest of the young people of this state that this university be available to them."

One third of the new revenue will be set aside for financial aid.

Annual tuition for in-state undergraduates for 2011-2012 will increase to $5,472, which doesn't include room, board or campus fees.

Annual tuition would increase $678 for credential program students and $720 for graduate students.

The new state budget reduces CSU funding by $650 million, or more than 20 percent. The system stands to lose another $100 million if the state generates less revenue than projected.

Earlier in the day, the finance committee of the board voted for the increase.

"The enormous reduction to our state funding has left us with no other choice if we are to maintain quality and access to the CSU," said Chancellor Charles Reed.

About 50 students rallied outside the board meeting in Long Beach, carrying signs calling university leaders corrupt and chastising the cuts. They also chanted "student power."

"We are vehemently disappointed in what has happened today," said Gregory Washington, president of the California State Student Association. "The sad truth is that California isn't prioritizing its higher education."

Pati Guerra, 21, said she's tired of seeing CSU trustees deal with the budget crunch by pushing fees higher and higher.

The Cal Poly Pomona student said one of her younger brothers had to drop out of school because of the increases, and another brother is now looking into studying out of state.

"They keep on taxing the students," she said. "The CSU claims to be an affordable, accessible and a quality education. But that's no longer the case."