California State University system raises tuition…AGAIN!?

If you’re a CSU student, you probably heard about the CSU Board of Trustees approving a 10% increase in our tuition. Yet again, students are being forced to shoulder the burden of our underfunded education system. At the same time, classes are being cut and professors let go. So we’re paying more for less? Our tuition goes up as we give billions to Wall Street, the ones who are responsible for the current economic crisis, and millions to the Philippine military, who continue their illegal war against organizers, killing, abducting, and torturing normal, everyday people. THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE!!!

LFS is an organization which was born out of the struggle against rising tuition fees during the Martial Law era. As we wrap up this school year (oh, and it’s not a coincidence that they raise tuition while we’re in finals), we look forward to linking up with our allies and exposing the hypocrisy we currently face. We are disturbed that higher education is no longer a right for all people, rather it is now a privilege for those who can afford it.

Below is a message from SFSU President Robert Corrigan. While his words show a level of sympathy for students, it is a similar message that he has sent us over the past few years. Sympathy can only go so far with us, we need results. We really hope top administrators (include himself) have had their salaries frozen, along with other perks the school affords them. That would help rebuild long lost trust with students. If not, then we are not surprised. Empty words with empty actions. We must remember that the power is on OUR hands, not the administrators’.

May 15, 2009

Dear Student:

We have known since California finally adopted a budget last February that it was virtually inevitable that CSU student fees would rise in 2009-10. The 2009-10 state budget proposal cut California State University funding by about 10 percent and counted on an increase in the State University Fee (SUF) to replace those dollars.

Two days ago, with the state’s budget crisis worsening, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to increase 2009-10 full-time fees by $153 per semester/$306 annually for undergraduate students, $177 per semester/$354 annually for teacher credential students and $189 per semester/$378 annually for graduate students. In keeping with CSU policy, one-third of the fee increase will be set aside for financial aid.

Because our office of Student Financial Aid was well prepared and anticipated this fee hike, all qualified students who applied for financial aid by the March 2 priority deadline will not feel the increase, as their State University Grants will cover it completely. We have also been able to provide SUGs for most qualified students who applied by May 1.

For SF State students, 2090-2010 fees for the academic year will be:

Undergraduate: $4,068 full-time; $2,662 part-time
Credential Students: $4,608 full-time; $2,972 part-time
Graduate and 2nd baccalaureate $4,848 full-time; $3,110 part-time

For the first time, the trustees also instituted a professional fee for state-supported MBA programs of $210 per semester unit. Up to one-third of this new fee will be set aside for financial aid.

No one wanted to raise student fees at a time that is so difficult for individuals and families throughout California, but short of turning away tens of thousands of students, laying off faculty and other employees, and allowing academic quality to deteriorate, the CSU had no choice.

I would remind you that the Office of Student Financial Aid is here to help and advise you. I encourage you to go to its Web page — www.sfsu.edu/~finaid – and to seek out the financial aid counselors who are available at the One Stop M-TH 8:30-7 and F 8:30-5; by phone  M,T, TH, F 8:30-4:30 and W 9-4:30; and by email: finaid@sfsu.edu

I must now tell you frankly that things are getting worse. As you have no doubt read, California’s budget deficit is growing. Revenues and tax collections are far below expectations. And should the budget propositions on the May 19 special election ballot fail, $5.9 billion in additional revenue will disappear. Each year in May, the governor issues an updated budget – the “May Revise” – which reflects the state’s current circumstances and newest budget projections.  Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger presented not one but two budget scenarios: one if the propositions pass, the other if they do not.  They show, at best, a $15.4 billion deficit; at worst a $21.3 billion shortfall.

In either case, I expect additional cuts and additional hardships for us. For now, we have managed to handle our share of this year’s CSU cuts through a range of economies, including holding off on some hiring (including the College of Education dean search), reducing the class schedule, freezing top administrator salaries, and limiting travel. Over the summer, a faculty-staff-administration group is going to be looking hard and creatively at ways we can cut without sacrificing quality – or people.

I cannot realistically end this message with reassurance that we are going to come through these budget times unscathed.  I can, however, assure you that we will continue to communicate openly and seek ideas from the campus community as we do our best to give you, our students, what you need and deserve:  affordable, high-quality education.

–Robert A. Corrigan, president

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One Response to California State University system raises tuition…AGAIN!?

  1. big L says:

    the only way to challenge cuts coming from sacramento is to organize militant struggle from the bottom up. sf state is known around the world for the ’68 ethnic studies strike, so sf state should be leading the way in challenging the student body to take responsibility for its education.

    imagine shutdowns of campuses across california . . . a strike wave of students challenging the sacramento power structure rather than petitioning it with an annual bus ride which provides no results other than a photo-op of politicians “standing with” students.

    I’d be interested in seeing some history of LFS in the PI posted up on here to get a sense of how the OG LFS folk organized against budget cuts and rises in tuition.

    PEACE!

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