Cal State Tuition Hike and the State’s “Master Education Plan”

The California State Board of Trustees has approved a 15 percent undergraduate tuition hike. The L.A. Times says “The two-step increase will raise undergraduate fees 5%: $105 for the rest of the school year, and an additional 10% — or about $440 — for next year.” According to AP, Cal State students will pay $4,884 per year starting next fall.

And by the way, looks like a semantic change from “fees” to “tuition,” long debated, is finally in the works. From the Fresno Bee:

The California State University is about to embrace a word that once was taboo: tuition.

For decades, the system has split hairs over the terminology describing the biggest bill paid by students at Fresno State and 22 other CSU campuses.

California residents pay a “state university fee” meant to support noninstructional services. Only those students from outside California fork over tuition, which pays for teaching expenses.

Now, the CSU plans to revise those terms — along with its prices — as a more honest description of its charges…

The new terminology is an acknowledgment that California students aren’t getting the state-supported “tuition-free” education that was a guiding principle of the state’s master plan for higher education.

Trustees reviewed the new language Tuesday at their meeting in Long Beach, and some expressed reservations.

The item was informational only; officials say Chancellor Charles Reed plans to issue an executive order reflecting the change later this year. Read the full story here.

Here’s the University of California’s web page on the California Master Plan for Higher Education, and here’s the original plan, which was published in 1960. The plan, as laid out on this summary page, included this modification:

Reaffirmation of California’s long-time commitment to the principle of tuition-free education to residents of the state. However, the 1960 Master Plan did establish the principle that students should pay fees for auxiliary costs like dormitories and recreational facilities. Because of budgetary reductions, fees have been increased and used for instruction at UC and CSU in recent years, but fee increases have been accompanied by substantial increases in student financial aid.

Some students , obviously, don’t see it that way

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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