The CSU system is under fire for halting enrollment for in-state students for the 2013 spring session due to state budget woes, but allowing some out-of-state and international graduate students who pay full tuition. Forum discusses the controversy.

Maria Nieto, professor in the department of biological sciences at California State University East Bay
Mike Uhlenkamp, spokesperson for the California State University chancellor's office
Mo Qayoumi, president of San Jose State University

  • Guest

    Why doesn’t CSU simply proclaim that graduate level study will no longer be subsidized by the state. CA graduate students would pay the same as out of state students, but at least they would have an opportunity to attend. 

  • Donna

    Thanks for covering this! As a Californian taxpayer for 30 years, I have always voted for every bond measure for higher Ed ( and lower Ed too). Now my kid can’t get in? If you have to educate 5 Californians instead of 10 out of state kids, then that is your mission! If CSU thinks that I will ever vote for taxes again, they should know that I will not approve another dime for teaching out of state students.

  • Barb

    I paid CA taxes for 30 years and voted for every educational bond measure. If CSU can only teach 5 Californians instead of 10 out of state kids, that is what they should do, that is their mission. I will NOT vote for another dime to educate out of state students.

    Posted this already but it got lost. Hope this isn’t a duplicate.

    • Sanfordia113

      You are factually wrong. Out-of-state tuition subsidizes the university.

      • Lucas

        Correct.  More out-of-state students actually helps subsidize the in-state students that the state isn’t funding.
        The public universities are incredible institutions for research and learning.  State of California residents have been unwilling to pay to maintain access and quality at these institutions.  At least more out-of-state students can help prop them up until voters decide these are enough of a priority to fund.

  • Sanfordia113

    The solution is simple: Raise tuition on in-state residents. It is way too low to begin with. If you value education, pay for it. If you believe it will benefit you, take out a loan and pay for it. Otherwise, go get a job!

    • Rob

      In state parents pay taxes and that’s why there is a discount. We are paying for these colleges already.

    • Lucas

      Terrible idea to raise tuition.  

      That just privatizes the state system and undermines giving opportunities to a broad swath of Californians vs just orange county trust-funders.  

      Loans are the new bane for youth today and are unfairly enslave the new generation of graduates to send their paychecks off to big banks. Net-net, raising tuition more just increases the bonuses for wall street executives at the expense of the middle class and poor.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    Being an 8th generation California family we are offended that we have been paying California taxes of all kinds for decades and then we hear that if someone is a legal California resident you need not apply to an institution that has California in it’s title ‘California State University’.   Every Californian should be offended!

    • Lucas

      I’m offended by the bad math skills of California residents.  The problem is that we’ve been paying too little taxes to maintain an all-you-can-eat public K-12 and university system.  These state treasures like schools and state parks have been strangled by anti-tax ferver and tyranny of the minority party in the legislature.

      Think about our property tax law prop 13.  Should the buffet have to stay open and keep serving lobster if no one wants to pay more than they paid in 1978? 

      • Guest

         Or perhaps the problem lies on the spending side. In a not so unrelated story on KQED’s home page today; San Francisco Police Chief to be Nation’s Highest-Paid. Automatic salary increases for public servants while we starve our schools. Do you detect any problem with this, Lucas?

  • dmw2001

    I believe the Administrative systems of the entire system and individual campuses have ballooned out of control.

  • Robert Morrison

    By shutting out residents the CSU system is essentially turning the state system into a private system. If the state funding  is not there then the system should be shut down and the out of state and international students can then apply to the private universities i.e. Santa Clara, Stanford. Thank you for the program. R. Morrison, Sunnyvale. 

  • EL

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. As a student at SJSU, fees have increased by 1/3 in two years from $3000 in my first semester to $4000 this coming semester. There are fewer classes offered, and SJSU is limiting students to 15 units, and now this? Access and excellence? How does your guest figure?

  • California families count on the availability of state universities as a low cost alternative.  With home prices and living costs so high, it is, quite plainly, less feasible for California families to save for private colleges.  California must do everything it can to make spaces available to California residents, who partially fund the system and consider it a major incentive for living in this expensive state!

  • Jessica Schimm

    Just wondering if they can site the actual law that prohibits charging students at a higher rate? Not doubting it exists, just would like to know. Thank you. 

  • Lucas

    My fellow indignant California residents should stop pointing fingers at the state institutions and that evil “legislature” and start turning that finger around to themselves.
    Citizen votes starting with 1978’s prop 13 and the resulting tax revenue shortfalls are the cause for inadequate state services. As much as we expect it, that evil legislature can’t create money through a magic trick. Unfortunately we can’t have unlimited state park services, higher ed enrollments, medicaid and everything else without new funds.  Even if you voted for higher taxes historically, if those taxes didn’t pass then the citizens have decided to continue slowly strangling our institutions for the public good.My wife and I now have a toddler and are thinking ahead for K-12 schools, we’re considering moving to another state that both says they value education and ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR IT.So what do we do?  Here’s how I think about it: never vote for a Tea party-beholden republican and always vote to support initiatives that raise taxes.

    • Bob Fry

      True enough, but voters turn against tax increases not just because they don’t want to pay more taxes, but because they have zero trust in legislators’ use of tax money: High Speed Rail to- and from-nowhere, Twin Tunnels under the Delta, hidden pots of gold in state agencies, and a Senate leader who gave pay raises to Senate staff, fought against requiring welfare recipients to look for work or get training, while demanding more taxes; all this in the last few months!

      I’m a state engineer and I’m voting against new taxes because I think they’ll just get thrown away at more boondoggles.

    • Guest

       My taxes continue to increase year after year. When will it ever be enough? When can we ask for a review of the salaries, benefits, and pensions of these public sector “servants”? They behave as though they would rather see the whole CSU system shut down before considering any cut in their own compensation. Their priorities could not be more blatant. As a private sector employee, I’m incensed by the fact that I am forced to fund their bloated benefits and pensions (through taxes) before I can fund my own retirement. And now my college student cannot even apply to the state schools that I am forced to support? Because of a shortfall that they claim should only affect a few hundred students? Where is the outrage?

  • 100yearsSF

    Listening to Mo Qayoumi say that in his opinion it’s okay foreign students are admitted and California resident students are not admitted  because many foreign students have become very successful and started powerful business’s in California makes me wonder if he is in the right job.

  • doughnut1

    For the last three years I’ve been taking math prerequisites for a specific MS degree program at a nearby CSU campus.  I chose the program in part because it offered evening classes that worked with my family’s schedule  (I’m a stay at home mom to a school-aged child).  Next Monday my last required class begins (Calculus III) and I plan to apply for Fall 2013 admission.  Although nothing has been determined about the fall, I’m appalled
    that I might be barred from the program solely because of my residency status.  To think that all the work I’ve done, and the sacrifices my family has made for me to pursue this goal, may lead to a dead-end is beyond frustrating.  

    Given this, I’d be willing to pay the out of state tuition fees to attend the program.  I think it’s more reasonable to raise graduate program fees than to bar California residents from a California public (tax funded) university system. I couldn’t believe when I heard one of the guests claim that it would be illegal for CA residents to pay higher tuition fees. 

    Thanks for covering this and bravo Prof. Nieto for you and your department taking a stand

  • greyArea

    Option 1: Raise taxes so that there is more funding for the state to support the programmes in spring.

    Option2 : So the state doesn’t have money. CSU is taking in internationals because they don’t have to depend on the state to provide that funding. Ok – then need to give the option for residents to pay themselves the same money. If that’s against the law, then the law needs to be modified to allow this in this particular scenario (Could see why they originally intended for non-discriminatory practice of residents not having to pay extra for state schools – but things have changed now to some extent)

    Option1 => the rich supporting the poor (see how it is not happening at federal level, can see how “unpalatable” it is for the rich). It’s for everyone’s benefit that people are more educated!!

    Option 2 => Poorer people will be left behind if the rich have the option of taking up courses which the poor can’t afford. 

  • Mike

    If CSU did not reduce enrollment after a huge budget cut, it would show the state that there are no consequences for cuts, so they really have no choice. 

    • Disgusted

       Yours is probably the most insightful comment here. CA students can’t apply to CA schools because the chancellor needs them as political pawns. What a disgrace!

      • Matthew

        Exactly correct.  This is just Kabuki theatre, to fool the trusting public into funding even higher taxes.

  • Ellis

    Perpetual California Budget Crisis

    Some solutions for California and its
    budget chaos:

    Let’s start by repealing the balanced
    budget law in California. This was not law under Gov. Pat G. Brown,
    the current Governors Father. Jerry Brown seems to have forgotten
    this and now brow-beats the people with the manta of budgets-cuts and
    austerity. When I was a child growing up in California we ran
    deficits in bad times and surpluses in good economic times. We
    understood that there was no need to economically punish ourselves to
    balance a budget. There is no scientific or physical reason to cut or
    gut support programs, education or workers pay to balance the budget
    – this is purely ideological. Some have argued that this is not the
    best way to avoid funding shortfalls in education and social
    services. I would agree, but it needs to be one of the tools in the

    Step two is to get rid of the 2/3
    majority for monetary bills. This is little more than minority rule.
    The 1% are enabled by both Republicans and Democrats, who serve them.
    The economic and political systems that the 1% have engineered are
    working perfectly. Chaos and gridlock are what they want and this is
    the best that the 1% can achieve at this point in time in a “blue”
    state such as ours.

    We should repeal the Governors “Line
    Item Veto.” We should not have one person with this much power over
    the legislature. This came in under Ronald Reagan and it’s time to
    get rid of it.

    Next, put back a progressive income tax
    system where we don’t allow job-killing corporations like Apple,
    hedge-funds like BlackRock and the super-rich families to escape fair
    taxation by hiding their money in offshore accounts. This is no call
    for a flat tax, but progressive – the more you make the more you
    pay! Bring in someone like a Dr. Michael Hudson(Congressman Dennis
    Kucinichs’ economic adviser when ran for president) of the
    University of Mo. Kansas City for the job of re-engineering the
    California Tax System. This is a better solution than running
    deficits, but deficits are better than austerity.

    Next, we need to tighten-up some tax
    loop-holds such as oil depletion. The price should be tied to the
    OPEC benchmark price for a barrel of oil, and at the highest
    depletion tax rate charged by any state – Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska,
    whichever is highest.

    Next, roll-back Prop 13 property tax
    assessment protection only on corporations – allow their rates to
    reflect the actual market rate. Many corporations have changed
    ownership – some multiple times, but due to some loop-hold, the
    Prop 13 rate get passed along to the new owners! Others know better
    what other egregious tax loop-holds California is laboring under, and
    what they should be taxed at.

    Long term, California needs a State
    Bank like North Dakota. This really is a hedge against the excesses
    of Wall Street. We know that both the Democrats and Republicans are
    literally owned by Wall Street. So, the chances of getting
    meaningfully regulatory controls over dangerous speculation is not
    going to happen anytime soon or without a real 2nd
    American Revolution. However; in an effort to control this exuberant
    speculation by our “too big to fail” banks, we should impose a
    sales tax on their “stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc” transactions
    (aka Tobin Tax – Robin Rood Tax) of 1-5%. Some of these proceeds can
    be used to fund our state bank.

    It seems that our
    bank is going to have to go through the initiative process. Our top
    elected officials are beholden to that 1% and don’t want the largest
    state to have a bank. We have seen several bills and initiatives
    torpedoed by Sacramento. Go to Public-Banking for more information.

    My apologies for being long winded, but
    you cannot say this in a sentence.


  • Neighbor

    After 98% tuition increase in 5 year and another potential 20% increase. NOW THIS?

    CA should return my property tax. 

  • How about instead we live within our budget?  I have to personally, why shouldn’t the state?

    • RegularListener

      Do you have a mortgage?  Most Americans do, yet they rarely consider themselves to be living beyond their budget, becasue they consider the debt an investment that they will eventually recoup by selling the house for a bit more than they sunk into it. Higher education is also viewed as an investment that eventually pays off for the society that subsidizes it. It’s short sighted to think that decreasing the number of Californians without access to higher education will help California because it temporarily helps your budget problem.

      • Blah

        The vast majority of Americans service that debt (mortgage) by making payments every month. This is a known expense that they budget for every single month. At the end of the loan term, they own the house.

        Completely different from the state’s budgetary practices.

        • RegularListener

          If you’re trying to say that higher educational costs are out of control, I couldn’t agree more. But since the state has been cutting funding for some time, and prices just keep going up I don’t think that cutting more state funding by itself will solve the problem. The state should use its power to control costs at the state university system. Attach strings to the cost cutting: if you raise tuition you get less funding. If you raise top administrators’ salaries you will get cut. The problem is overpaid administrators building overpriced buildings who know that they can keep raising prices because demand is so high (while supply limited), which is fed by the widespread fear that the lack of a college degree will lead to a life of penury. It would also help if alumni told their university fundraisers they will give only if costs are controlled tuition goes down.

          My point is that the metaphor about a household budget is not valid for the huge, complex economy we have now. In the 19th century most governments took that attitude, never ran any defecit except during wars, and funded nothing more than a handful of what would now be considered grossly inadequate infrastructure projects, and the most rudimentary schooling. Poverty was widespread, people were allowed to die of hunger & exposure. Is that the sort of society you want to return to? We can’t be a wealthy, post-industrial society and expect to run a government in that way. Higher education is far more necessary now, because we are no longer an agrarian, or even industrial society. 

          And by the way, most mortgage payers in the US are not  paying their full expenses, as if we had a completely free housing market, as they did before the New Deal. Since the New Deal, the US GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZES their mortgages thru tax write-offs and other incentives. When people had to pay much more up front, and got no tax subsidy, the homeownership rate was much, much lower than it is now. Which raises the question: why is it acceptable to you for the government to subsidze homeowners’ mortgages but not college students’ tuition?

      • Matthew

        Get a clue.  If the money-wasting Legislature paid mortgages in the same manner as we pay ours, the State would have been foreclosed upon.  But it doesn’t, and this is why its credit rating is so low.  

        • RegularListener

          Do you take a tax write off for your mortgage? Keep in mind that the government (=taxpayers) subsidizes mortgages. Mortgage holders could help balance budgets by giving up their tax write off. Why is it college tuition that should be cut for the sake of the defecit, and not the sacred cow of the mortgage deduction?
          In general, as jobs become more mobile & temporary and demand for an educated workforce grows, it makes more sense that the government should reduce its subsidies for homeowners, and retain its subsidies for higher education, rather than retain subsidies for homeowners (they even apply to second homes!) and cut education subsidies.

  • Natalie Granera

    You go Maria!!!!

  • Peter

    I graduated from one of the CSU schools in 2010. It’s a shameful, shameful thing to even have such a discussion today. It is almost synonymous to a pair of cash-strapped parents telling their children that they can’t have dinner tonight because daddy and mommy need to sell their dinner to their neighbor’s kids to make some money. 

    Whoever came up and supported this policy need to ask themselves that: am I willing to starve my children tonight to make a buck?

  • wandagb

    This is yet just another example of all aspects of government – Obama and his ‘Dream Act’, Congress and their obscene H-1B visa program and ‘Diversity Visa Lottery’, the Ponzi ‘family reunification’ policy – all these and many more forcing Americans to overpopulate their country with immigrants to the detriment of the Middle Class and the other 99%.
    Oh – and being told that we should reduce our consumption and work toward a ‘sustainable future.’ Why? So another million and half immigrants can pave over the country with WalMarts?These public servants should be tossed out on their ears – after their pensions and free health care are terminated.

  • Carlthronson

    College is way too expensive. All you need is the diploma. Am I the only person who saw the Wizard of Oz?

    But seriously, how much does it cost to rent an auditorium for 500 students and hire someone to stand up in front and read out of a text book? (Physics 201 at UW Madison.)

    Why is it so expensive? It’s a disgrace that opportunity has become a way to weed out undesirables.

  • Slappy

    I think part of the problem is that far too many students are admitted in the first place. Who in God’s name needs a Film Studies or a Gender Studies degree this day and age? Many of the liberal arts programs are safe havens for students who have no ambition in life except to party and waste taxpayer money doing so. Cut the fat. 

  • Disgusted

    A few hundred students? Even if we assume 1000 students, at $5,000 difference per student, CSU is shutting out CA graduate students to save $5 million out of a $2 billion budget! Are you kidding me?

  • RegularListener

    I am not surprised by this move at all. The state has been subsidizing illegal immigrants’  tution by allowing them to pay in-state rather than out of state tuition for years. Thanks to Brown, they are now they are even allowed to compete with citizens for public financial aid. Spots for undergraduates at state universites have been limited too. Simple math, if you divide a limited pot of money or limited slots among a larger number of competitors, there is less money for each, whether in the form of subsidized tuition or aid, & fewer slots for  undergraduates & graduates.  But of course anyone who points out that granting illegals in-state tuition, financial aid or the limited number of  spots is done at the expense of our very many needy citizens, is heckled with vigorous denial and epithets by the usual suspects.

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