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Cal State set to shelve plans for incentive fees to graduate faster

This post has been updated. See the note below for details.

California State University trustees will shelve a controversial plan to impose incentive fees to encourage students to graduate faster, officials said Tuesday.

The university's governing board was scheduled to consider the proposal at meetings Tuesday and Wednesday in Long Beach but indicated more time would be needed to gather input on the potential effects of the fee increases.

The proposed fees, which would have taken effect next fall, include:

--A per-unit supplement of $372 for "super seniors" who have accumulated 160 semester units

--A $91 per-unit fee to repeat a class

--A $182 per-unit fee for any course load of 18 units or more

Cal State Chancellor Charles B. Reed and other officials had argued the incentive plan would free up class space for thousands of new students while helping current students complete their degrees sooner.

But many students and faculty criticized the proposal as a "punishment fee," contending it would create more obstacles for students and set up a hierarchy favoring those who could pay.

Many also criticized the university for moving forward with the proposal after the passage of Proposition 30, a tax measure that avoids deep funding cuts to higher education and which allowed the university to rescind a $249 per-semester tuition increase that took effect this fall.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom are scheduled to attend Tuesday's board meeting.

[Updated at 8:36 a.m.: "In choosing today to postpone the discussion of fee hikes, Chairman Linscheid and CSU Board of Trustees are sending a strong message to students and their families that we are serious about protecting access," Newsom said Tuesday in a statement.]

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-- Carla Rivera

 
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