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Cal State trustees approve 10% student fee hike

May 13, 2009 | 12:43 pm

California State University trustees Wednesday approved a 10% increase in undergraduate and graduate student fees for the coming school year. The vote was 17-2, with Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and student trustee Curtis Grima dissenting.

The hike of $306 a year for undergraduates will bring average annual basic fees at the public university to $3,354 beginning in the fall, compared with $3,048 currently. 

The estimated total cost of attendance for an undergraduate in the 23-campus system, including on-campus housing, food, books, transportation and other expenses, ranges from $15,891 at Cal State Bakersfield to $20,388 at San Diego State, according to the Cal State website.

University leaders said the fee increase would help offset state cuts in the system’s $2.6-billion budget, including $96 million in 2008-09 and an additional $57 million for 2009-10. The fee increase is expected to generate $127 million annually, though $42 million of that will be set aside for increased financial aid.

Budget analysts told the trustees’ finance committee on Tuesday that more cutbacks could follow if education funding propositions on the May 19 ballot fail as expected.

The California Faculty Assn., which represents Cal State professors, opposed the fee hike, saying it would exacerbate the state’s looming shortage of college graduates.

The trustees' action, taken during a board meeting in Long Beach, follows a vote last week by University of California regents to raise fees for UC undergraduates by 9.3%, and more for graduate students.

-- Gale Holland