Following the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees vote to raise CSU undergraduate tuition fees by five percent, Senator Janet Nguyen has announced the introduction of SB 236. With the goal of combating rising tuition costs and increasing access for California students, SB 236 would freeze UC and CSU tuition rates for five years starting in 2018, place a 10 percent cap on the number of incoming out-of-state undergraduate students, and would prohibit both higher education institutions from providing state-funded financial assistance to undergraduate students who are not California residents.
“Students throughout California are already struggling to pay for the rising costs of higher education,” said Senator Janet Nguyen.“The CSU and UC systems often resort to student tuition hikes to help their budgets, these arbitrary increases on students need to stop.”
Under the Governor’s 2017-2018 proposed budget, the General Fund support for CSUs would increase to almost $3.4 billion, a number that has grown by about $2.2 billion since 2007-2008. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, most of the cost pressures facing the CSU budget stem from compensation increases for faculty and employee groups.
In March 2016, the California State Auditor published a report on the UC system that highlighted the negative impact of admitting out of state students and offered clear changes to the UC admissions process aimed at streamlining enrollment to benefit California residents. To date, the UC system has not implemented all recommendations.
“We need to ensure that the doors of California Universities remain open to the children of California residents,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “The CSU and UC systems benefit from funding from California taxpayers and it is only right that our children are given priority in admissions and state-funded financial aid.”
If approved, SB 236 would be effective January 1, 2018.
Before the CSU Board of Trustees’ vote to increase tuition costs, Senator Nguyen called on the Board to oppose the tuition hike. Despite her petition, the Board voted to increase tuition costs by 5-percent on March 22nd. To read a copy of Senator Nguyen’s letter to the CSU Board of Trustees, please click here.