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California lawmakers build pressure against university fee hikes

January 17, 2013 |  8:00 am

Pressure is building from both sides of the aisle in the Capitol for an end to tuition hikes at California universities.

Following the lead of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, a third Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation to hold the line on fee increases.

The measure by Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) would guarantee in-state freshman California State University students a fixed tuition rate for four years.

Olsen, a former CSU administrator, said some students have dropped out before getting their degrees because of fee hikes that were not accounted for in their personal budgets. Others have decided not to enter the university system at all because of the expenses.

 “Students and parents deserve a reliable and reasonable tuition rate so they can plan for the investment, and yet, the cost of tuition at CSU has risen 63% since 2008,” Olsen said in a statement. "This bill will help new college students acquire a quality education without the fear of being priced out of their degree program before they finish.”

Last week, two other Republican state lawmakers introduced legislation providing for a tuition freeze for up to seven years. Brown is scheduled to press his case for holding the line on fees when he appears next week at the CSU board meeting.


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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Cal State University Fullerton students protesting fee hikes in 2011. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times.