9% CSU tuition hike looms if state doesn't step in

FRESNO, Calif.

Donovan Little is what he calls a "first year Senior" at Fresno State. "I've got all my GE's done and now need my core classes."

A name he came up with because he says budget cuts now mean fewer course offerings -- preventing him from graduating on time.

"Now they're saying you can only take this class in the fall, this class in the spring," said Little. So now I have 4 semesters, 2 years where I'm taking 10 units, but pay the full amount."

The full amount maybe going up for him in the fall. That's because CSU officials are asking the state legislature to restore $300 million to their annual budget.

$139 million of that is described as a "tuition fee buyout" or money the state would pay instead of the students. But if legislatures don't agree to the proposal, officials will pass on the cost to students. That means tuition would go up by $498.00 a year - bringing the total price tag to $5,970.00 a semester for full time undergraduate students.

Ray Medrano, Fresno State student said, "It's such a sad thing because I'm already on a limited budget, so what's gonna give?"

The increase in fees would also come at a time when CSU campuses are seeing a surge in enrollment. 20-thousand more students are expected to be admitted next year. If the state approves the CSU budget request - Fresno State President John Welty says - the campus could better serve it's students.

John Welty: "If we do receive all the money for budget cuts, it would allow us to serve about 2% more students next year and provide classes students need to graduate according to their schedules. :45 it's simply time the state invest in public education."

President Welty remains hopeful the state will move forward with the proposal, however others aren't as convinced. Right now state revenue is $1.5 billion below projections. The board of trustees will vote on the budget plan on Wednesday, it'll go to the state early next year.

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