Southern California -- this just in

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Cal State considers drastic contingency plan in case of an 'all cuts' budget

May 10, 2011 | 11:59 am

California State University is considering a contingency plan that would increase tuition up to 32% and turn away thousands of students next year if the state makes further budget cuts.

Details of the plan were presented at a meeting Tuesday of the Cal State Board of Trustees, who were told that the drastic actions may be necessary to keep classroom doors open if state budget problems force an "all cuts" budget that could reduce state support for the university by $1 billion.

Under the plan, Cal State campuses would wait-list applications for winter and spring 2012 enrollment without making admissions decisions until a state budget is finalized.

In the worst-case scenario, 20,000 qualified applicants could be turned away, Chancellor Charles B. Reed told trustees.

In addition, the board may be asked at its July meeting to authorize a 32% fee increase for full-time undergraduates, which would mean an additional $1,566, bringing total annual tuition to $6,450. The total does not include annual campus fees that average $950.

Reed called the actions "extreme" and said they would have a "devastating" impact on access and program quality. But they would be necessary to avoid more dire actions such as closing campuses, he said.

The state has already approved slashing the budgets of Cal State and the University of California by $500 million each. An additional $500 million may be demanded if tax extensions are not approved.

"An all-cut budget would mean reducing 36% of our operating costs in one year and I don't know of a business in this country that can take that kind of reduction," he said.


University of California weighs varying tuitions at its 10 campuses

-- Carla Rivera, reporting from Long Beach