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Tuition increase out of the question for 2019-20 academic year

California State University officials announced at the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday that tuition will not be increased for the 2019-20 academic year.

Chancellor Timothy P. White opened the State of the CSU address by citing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “visionary budget” proposal, saying it was the reason for the tuition freeze.  

“I will not bring forward any request for the Trustees to consider a tuition increase for our 2019-20 budget,” Chancellor Timothy P. White said from the podium to an audience that responded with loud applause. “You heard me right, tuition is off the table.”

White’s opening statement, called 2018 was the “best year ever” for the CSUs. He praised the success of the Graduation Initiative 2025 for providing the highest number of graduates in the system to date, adding that graduation rates have grown over 6 percent for incoming freshman and 7 percent for transfer students.

The CSU’s proposed operating budget is $7.32 billion for the 2019-20 academic year; with $3.12 billion coming from tuition and fees, $3.65 billion from the general fund and an operating budget request of $554 million.

Gov. Newsom’s unprecedented $300 million increase in ongoing funding will be the largest in CSU history. Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley said she is grateful for the governor’s budget and its priority toward higher education, according to a press release.

“His proposal is a meaningful step in the right direction,” Conoley said. “It begins to reaffirm California’s commitment to public higher education. I look forward to working with members of the legislature to refine this proposal even further.”

Gov. Newsom said in his January Higher Education draft that he proposed to increase the budget because of the importance CSU graduates have on the California workforce and pointed out that more than half of the state’s nurses and teachers graduated from a CSU.  

The CSU system plans to increase student enrollment by more than 8,000 for 2019-20 with the released budget, White said. The highly impacted CSU campuses traditionally have forced schools to turn away tens of thousands of qualified students due to lack of resources and room.

“More Californians will be admitted, more will graduate,” White said. “They will become the energy that keeps the California dream flourishing.”

Gov. Newsom’s January budget draft allocates $300 million to the CSU system’s general fund. The CSU will also receive another $262 million in one time allocations, including deferred maintenance in the university system.

The CSU’s $554 million operating budget request would fund different priorities for the university system including: $75 million for the Graduation Initiative, $148 million for employee compensation, $206 million for increasing student enrollment by 5 percent, $80 million for academic facilities and infrastructure and $45 million for mandatory costs.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be March 19 and 20 in the Dumke Auditorium at the Office of the Chancellor.

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