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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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CSU Tuition Increase: What It Means for CSU Stanislaus Students

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Lyla Mazuelos outside of Dorothy & Bill Bizzini Hall. (Signal Photo/Brian Miske)

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has approved a multi-year plan to increase tuition across all 23 CSU campuses beginning in Fall 2024. Undergraduate students enrolled in more than 6 units can expect to pay $342 more in tuition in Fall 2024 and this cost will increase steadily until the 2028-29 semester where a student in the same circumstances can expect to pay $1,940 more per semester than they currently pay.
This decision comes during a time where inflation continues to quickly rise while wages, particularly the minimum wage most university students rely on, are not rising alongside it. 
Lyla Mazuelos (Senior, English) expressed her displeasure with the tuition increase and the lack of measures being taken to counteract students’ financial burden.
“I work at a minimum wage job, a lot of people work minimum wage, and minimum wage does not increase at the rate of inflation lately,” she said, “So it’s really rough that nothing’s really happening to counteract that.”
CSU representatives, however, argue that this tuition increase is the only way for its universities to continue affording the services it provides.
In a press briefing about the tuition proposal, Steve Relyea, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer for the CSU, discussed how this conclusion was reached by a work group established by Chancellor Koester who were charged with the task of recommending a multi-year strategy to raise stable revenue to meet increased costs of operation.
“The composition of that work group included representation from students, faculty, alumni, trustees, presidents, campus chief financial officers, and campus chief academic officers which allowed for a very robust perspective and brought expertise for that work,” Relyea said.
Relyea continued to explain that the funding gap could not be closed by other means, including appealing for additional state funding, and therefore the work group recommended this tuition increase as part of their proposal.
“It will require many years in careful financial planning to improve [the CSU’s] current circumstances,” Relyea added.
Despite the insistence of student representation in the number of work groups, organizations, and committees consulted on this proposal, the California State Student Association (CSSA) opposes this tuition increase.
“CSSA has taken a position to oppose the tuition increase proposal,” the FAQ on calstate.edu reads.
The CSU insists there are a number of ways for students, who either qualify for financial aid or do not, to gather the funds to pay for the increased tuition.
In a written statement by CSU’s Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Hazel Kelly, she explicated on this issue.
Regarding students who currently qualify for financial aid, she wrote, “The CSU has convened a financial aid workgroup, which includes student representation, to assess the total cost of attendance—beyond tuition. The work of this group is intended to bolster CSU’s future financial aid programs so that those students who have the greatest financial need can receive support in areas beyond tuition, such as other fees and cost of attendance.”
As for students who don’t qualify for financial aid, the CSU recommends the following:
Students who are not eligible for financial aid assistance can pursue a paid internship, part-time employment, student loans or institutional or private scholarships. All students are encouraged to contact the financial aid offices on their campuses to explore their options,” Kelly wrote. 
Giselle Ramirez (Senior, Child Development) expressed her concerns about future CSU students, including her own cousin who’s a freshman in his first year.
“My cousin just started here, it’s his first year, and I don’t think he’s getting any financial aid,” she said, “So, he’s gonna have to go through that.”

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CSU Tuition Increase: What It Means for CSU Stanislaus Students