By Peyton Leone, with additional reporting from Lumberjack reporters Carlina Grillo and Christina Mehr.
The California State University Board of Trustees will vote on the Multi-Year Tuition Proposal on Sept. 13. If passed, tuition at all CSU campuses would rise by 6% for five years starting fall 2024 until fall 2028.
On Thursday Aug. 31 Cal Poly Humboldt’s Associated Students held a meeting to inform students about the tuition increase proposal. There were more than 30 people in attendance.
“The 6% increase covers all of the different levels of education,” said Amber Blakeslee, Executive Director of Finance and Budget at Cal Poly Humboldt. “So that’s undergraduate, credential and graduate student tuition. It also covers in-state tuition, out-of-state tuition, and the graduate business professional fees.”
For example, the proposal would raise the tuition rate of an in-state full-time undergraduate degree from the current $5,742 to $7,682 in fall 2028, a 34% increase over the first five years. This does not include the fees for each campus, which vary. This semester full-time student fees at Cal Poly Humboldt totaled $2,170.
The CSU system is funded from two main sources: tuition and state funding.
CSU reported in a document titled the “Sustainable Financial Model Workgroup Report” that there was a nearly $1.5 billion gap between money the system received and the costs to keep the CSU system running in 2021-2022.
The same report concluded that “even with aggressive assumptions about increases in-state general fund and tuition” would not be enough to close the gap.
The California State Student Association, a nonprofit group representing nearly 500,000 CSU students, unanimously voted to oppose tuition increases according to AS president, Sam Parker.
“The proposal lacks measurable outcomes, a clear termination date, and fails to articulate plans for generating other revenue sources,” CSSA said in a July 11 press release.
According to the Multi-Year Tuition Proposal, 60% of students at the CSU system would not be affected by increases. Their attendance is covered by the Cal Grant, Pell Grant or tuition waivers.
The proposal notes that increases will exceed the maximum Pell Grant award by over $280 by the 2028-2029 school year, and that Cal Grant may not rise to cover tuition raises into the future.
“It discourages me from even wanting to continue through school,” said sophomore Sonny Buckner after the town hall meeting, noting that affording school and finding housing were affecting his time as a freshman. “…I barely even passed all my classes. It’s ridiculous that these are the things I have to put my priorities on when I came here to be a student.”
The CSU Board of Trustees will meet from Sept. 10-13 in Long Beach, California. The board will take public comment on the proposal on Sept. 12 at 9:00 a.m. Public comment can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. before Sept. 11. Instructions on how to give live public comment virtually or in person can be found at here.