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Wednesday, 21 May 2008 02:20

Education Costs Go Up

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slide15.pngThe cost of a four-year college education went up again in California on Wednesday, as leaders of the University of California and California State University systems approved their sixth round of student fee hikes in seven years. Under orders from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce campus spending to help make up a statewide budget deficit, the governing boards of the two systems said they had to ask students and their families to shoulder some of the burden come fall. "We are doing everything we can to persuade the governor and the Legislature that additional funding for the CSU ought to be viewed as an investment, not an expense," said CSU Trustee William Hauck. "We are going to continue to fight that fight, but as of today, we are left with not much in the way of alternatives."

Cal State trustees meeting in Long Beach voted 15-3 to raise yearly undergraduate fees by $276, or 10 percent. The increase means that undergraduates will pay an average of $3,797 next year - twice as much as what a CSU school cost in the fall of 2000. University of California board members, meanwhile, tentatively approved a 7.4 percent fee increase that would bring the average annual cost for undergraduates to $8,007 for the 2008-09 academic year, which also represents a doubling in price from the start of the decade. The governor restored about $200 million of the $720 million he originally proposed cutting from UC and CSU's requests. But system officials said that even with the fee hikes they still would have to curtail enrollment, reduce course offerings and scale back campus services. Both CSU and UC administrators said that up to one-third of the money generated by the higher fees would go toward boosting financial aid to offset the potential impact on low-income students.

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