FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Students heading to class at Fresno State said tuition increases are happening too often-- making higher education more difficult for them to attain.
"I just feel it's a little unnecessary for the school I'm going to. I think CSU should be more affordable," said Tomas Barillas, sophomore.
Barillas is a civil engineering student and a Fresno native and said Fresno State was his cheapest option to get a higher education. Still, at $7,000 a semester, it's not always easy to pay his tuition bill. And he's not alone.
"I 'm hoping they don't increase it. I would like it to stay the way it is right now," said Barillas.
"They should look at students. We struggle enough already and some of our parents it's not enough with what they work for," said Anel Acosta, freshman.
CSU trustees are looking at a tuition hike that could be as high as five-percent.
On Tuesday the board approved the possibility-- a step they need to make in case the state ca not help them close a $168 million gap in their proposed budget.
Students in Long Beach protested outside the meeting displaying a morbid scene. Twenty-three tombstones to represent each university including one that read "RIP Fresno State."
"It's all stayed the same and I don't see where that money's going," said Barillas.
Fresno State faculty said they see their students struggle daily. Many rely on the university's own food pantry, called the Fresno State Cupboard, to help them make ends meet.
"Students we serve especially because they are mostly first generation college students, they're mostly from low-income backgrounds. At least the ones that I serve in my classes," said Gena Gong, Fresno State faculty.
Gong said many students already have trouble paying for books and fees. They add the CSU system is supposed to be affordable for all students in California.
"If we keep raising the fees and tuition's it's just going to make it more and more out of reach for the students that need it the most," said Gong.
If the CSU board considers a tuition hike that won't happen until at least January.