Fresno State students return to school with budget frustrations

FRESNO, Calif.

The start of a new year brought fast-moving steps across campus.

The constant clicking of cash registers at the bookstore and the quizzical looks of students in the classroom, not quite ready to tackle the books again.

Nevertheless, Fresno State is in session with a student body of 21,000. It's not the largest enrollment at the school, but it's large compared to the number of classes and professors available for students.

Fresno State Student Body President Pedro Ramirez has seen his tuition go up almost $1,000 a year since he started four years ago.

He says, like most Fresno State students, he's paying more for less and he's frustrated.

Pedro Ramirez says, "There's still not enough classes and this ties into the budget, we still don't have a budget for Fresno State and that's because we don't have a budget for the state of California. When we get a budget, hopefully we'll get some funds poured back into the CSU system and Fresno State."

Fresno State's freshman class is 2,700 students this year; 300 larger than expected, but only a small percentage of those who wanted to get in.

"We had a renewed effort with our local high schools to get people to apply early and just using Fresno Unified we have a 20 percent increase in enrollment from Fresno Unified high schools," Associate Vice President for Enrollment, Bernie Vinovrski said.

Vinovrski says half of those enrolled at the university are from the valley. Most likely, he says, because it's cheaper to go to Fresno State than go away to college.

Nevertheless, 75 percent receive some sort of financial aid.

Administrators and students both hope state legislators steer clear of raising fees again this year.

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