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The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Are Fee Increases Worse Than Reducing Enrollment?

The fight against higher fees for higher education is a foolish one.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cal State and UC students are bracing for daunting tuition hikes in September. Connie Melendez from Cal State University Los Angeles talks about available options with Ana Garcia on Nonstop News LA. (Published Thursday, Jun 30, 2011)

    Congratulations everyone -- students, faculty, politicians -- who went after California State University for its fee increases. They've been beaten back, and won't be increasing fees anymore, the system announced this week.

    Instead, they'll be reducing enrollment.

    Budget Cuts Strain UC and Cal State Students

    [LA] Budget Cuts Strain UC and Cal State Students
    Cal State and UC students are bracing for daunting tuition hikes in September. Connie Melendez from Cal State University Los Angeles talks about available options with Ana Garcia on Nonstop News LA. (Published Thursday, Jun 30, 2011)

    So to keep fees down, fewer kids will be able to get a public higher education in California. Cal State said Monday that all applicants for fall 2013 will be wait-listed, pending the results of November's vote on whether to raise taxes. How is that a victory?

    It's long past time for those who support Cal State to stop fighting the symptoms of the funding problem at Cal State -- higher fees, class cuts, even higher salaries for campus presidents (who are harder to lure to Cal State given its troubles) -- and fighting the real McCoy: the budget system itself.

    Cal State Students Angered Over Tuition Hike

    [LA] Cal State Students Angered Over Tuition Hike
    Tuesday the Cal State Board of Trustees approved a 12% increase in tuition fees starting this fall. This is the second approved increase, the first was a 10% increase. The board says the tuition hike will help offset deep budget cuts from the state. But some students are upset and they don't know how they can afford to pay for school. (Published Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011)

    The reason why Cal State will keep seeing cuts in state support is that the budget system makes it far easier to cut higher education than other things. That's because higher ed doesn't have the same constitutional, initiative and court protections that other big pieces of the budget do.

    So either fees will go up, or enrollment will go down, until the system itself is fixed. Even the passage of the tax increases in November will only provide temporary ballast.

    Until Cal State's backers see this, their push on fees is only likely to hurt the state -- by reducing access to higher education.

    (And if you want a reminder why Cal State matters, HealthyCal's Daniel Weintraub explains here).

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