Tuition increase weighs down students

By Alan Leyva

The California State University board of trustees decision to increase tuition will do more harm than good. 

The CSU system is reputed for providing affordable higher education opportunities to a diverse range of students. However, its board’s recent decision has made many students across the California academic community worried. 

The plan for a multi-year tuition increase will have clear consequences for students for years to come. 

Under the approved proposal from the CSU board of trustees, full-time undergraduates will see a tuition increase of $342 annually per student for five consecutive years. The increase will be in effect starting in the 2024-25 academic year. 

By the end of the 2028-29 academic year, the tuition increase will amount to $1,940, bringing the annual in-state tuition to $7,095 for full-time undergraduates. 

This has raised some concerns about how this will impact students and their families. 

Brandon Beasley, a freshman at California State University, Northridge, said, “I am worried about this tuition increase… I come from a sole provider, my mother, and I had to take on extra debt by getting student loans on top of my financial aid to make ends meet.”

This tuition hike will only create a financial burden on students and their families.  As well as the cost that already comes with living in California, it will create and add to financial troubles for a variety of families. 

Students will be forced to choose between proper education, housing, food and even the most basic of necessities. 

“The revenue from the tuition increase is essential to provide the CSU with the financial stability it needs to continue to serve students today and in the future,” said Steve Relyea, CSU executive vice chancellor & chief financial officer. 

Although the board believes this is for everyone’s best interest, that’s not necessarily true for everyone. 

The California Budget & Policy Center notes that tuition increases can affect the low-income and minority students heavily, which may force them to pivot to other ultimately endeavors closing their opportunity for higher education. 

Students and parents are already voicing their concerns for the board’s questionable decision. 

“It sucks. If they’re going to increase tuition, they need to find more ways to provide aid to students. This will only negatively impact our students,” said Rachel Tat, a transfer mentor at East Los Angeles College. 

Transfer students will also be affected by this because when many sophomores are looking to transfer, the new tuition plan will already be in place. This has left many students in California community colleges on edge and wondering if they should look for other options. 

“I am not a fan of the tuition increase. I am going to be going from paying nothing here at ELAC, to paying upward of 10 grand a year for school,” said Eddie Hernandez, a student at ELAC. 

As someone who is in the transfer process at the moment, the decision made by the CSU board has really raised some concerns for me and my family. The price increase will affect us because, as is, receiving aid is difficult for me because of our tax bracket. 

School itself is expensive, but then you factor in dorms, food and other necessities. It all adds up. We don’t like it, nor do we really agree with the decision to increase tuition. 

The decision may have its benefits for the schools, but what the board is failing to realize is that we are people as well, not a budget measuring stick. 

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