Campus, CSU, News

Associated Students Inc. to fight possible tuition hike

The Associated Students, Inc. Senate denounced the idea of an increase in tuition for Cal State Long Beach during its meeting last night.

ASI Vice President Logan Vournas announced there could be a tuition increase for the 2017-2018 academic year for all 23 colleges in the California State University System.

The exact amount of the increase is not yet known although the amount will not exceed $270 for undergraduate students and $312 per semester for graduate students.

“No one wants to see a tuition increase, but the problem is that there is a deficit,” she said, “and if we cannot find a way to meet that deficit, the CSU Board of Trustees may vote in favor of it.”

Out of the $346 million the CSU has requested from the California Department of Education, it may only receive about $177 million, according to a report distributed by the California Student Association.

The money would go to renovating buildings campuses, employment compensation and the 2025 Initiative.

In January, Gov. Jerry Brown released Initiative 2025, a budget plan aimed to help the CSU improve its four-year and six-year graduation rates by 2025.

The plan states that the CSU will increase its four-year graduation rates from 19 percent to 40 percent and its six-year graduation rates from 57 percent to 70 percent.

The question remains as to how the CSUs will be able to meet these percentages if undergraduate and graduate students are expected to pay five and six percent more per semester than they do already, ASI Executive Director Richard Haller said.

“It is not the responsibility of the students to make up for where the [state] government has fallen short,” Vournas said.

International and out-of-state students could expect to pay an additional $24 per unit per semester, with no knowledge of whether or not their financial aid will be increased,  according to Senator-at-Large Daniel Gomez.

“That may not sound like a lot,” Vournas said. “But that could add up to an additional $270 for tuition, when that money could go to a week’s worth of food or rent.”

“Increasing tuition will only slow students down,” ASI President Marvin Flores said. “That’s why we are doing everything we can to counteract a tuition increase.”

Flores, along with Vournas, will be working on obtaining feedback through community forums and surveys.

The decision ultimately lies with the CSU Board of Trustees, who will start looking at a budget proposal in its meeting next month.

Preceding the tuition increase talks, Flores gave his convocation speech to the senate.

In his speech, Flores listed some of his goals including a University Hour. There would be no classes during college hour so students can participate in clubs or take a break from studying. He also encouraged senate members to become more involved with the Beach Pantry.

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