California State University tuition to rise 5% if Prop. 30 fails

After hearing dire budget scenarios of devastating cuts to faculty, students and classes, California State University trustees Tuesday tentatively approved a plan to raise tuition 5% next year if voters reject a tax measure on the November ballot.

The board’s finance committee acted on a series of contingency measures during a meeting in Long Beach to deal with what Chancellor Charles B. Reed called “the biggest challenge CSU has ever had to face.”

Failure of Proposition 30, backed by the governor, would trigger a $250-million funding cut to the Cal State system. The 5% tuition hike — equal to $150 per semester — would raise an estimated $58 million in revenue in fiscal 2012-13, officials said.

Annual undergraduate tuition at the system’s 23 campuses would rise to $6,270, not including school-based fees, books and other costs.

Officials are also proposing to increase per-unit costs for non-resident students 7%, to $399 from $372.

If Proposition 30 passes, Cal State would forego the January hike and also rescind the 9% tuition hike that took effect this fall and was expected to raise $132 million in revenue. The system would have to refund tuition checks, grant tuition credit and recalculate financial aid packages for most of its 412,000 students.

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Here’s the thing, of course the wealthy individuals out there making $250k or more will not want the tax increase, and I can completely understand that; who wants to lose 10% of the money they’ve earned?  And, I don’t have to remind you that $250 grand isn’t what it was 10-20 years ago… but then again, it is all relative… neither is $20 grand.  Certainly, if it were you, you would have an issue with paying out more money than everyone else.  
There lies a caveat though… and it’s a tough one, especially in a day and age where everyone is looking out for number one.  The United State’s economy and education systems are broken.  Tuition hikes makes obtaining higher tiered jobs nearly impossible for people, which will, in the end, further hurt the United States and our competitiveness (if we have any at this point in time).  The part I find odd is the fact that this is all taking place at a time when the student loan bubble is gigantic.  They make it very easy to get an education, if you are willing to let your head slip under the water into debt.  We can argue the how’s and why’s all day, but maybe it’s time to cut the state government bureaucracy; if you live in California you certainly know how inept the state is at maintaining things like the state infrastructure.  Maybe, instead of CalTrans, we should kick jobs to the winning bidder in the private sector?  I have absolutely no doubt, whatsoever, that projects would be completed more efficiently… and the state and local governments everywhere save money while helping the economy.  The money saved can offset other alternatives such as tuition hikes.  There is a lot of other areas, such as a thorough examination of government benefits to specific positions; positions that are afforded tax payer provided benefits, benefits your dream job will never offer, often for life.  And not to mention the other side of this equation; government officials locked into their positions (ie. tenure); I am positive that once the majority of individuals obtain this level of job security the one cutting the paycheck (tax payers) are getting a poor return.

One more thing.  Why is it that we can’t cut the “high school part two” out of college?  Oh, right.  Because the state bureaucracy thinks it would receive less money.  Of course it wouldn’t mean more people will come through your doors.  

The long-term health of the patient doesn’t satisfy the needs of the physician.
I write this as it is looking more and more as if I will find myself back at school next month.  I don’t know quite how I will pull it off financially… and I am at the community college level ($46 / unit) and working part-time within information technology (a field which, within tech support at least, has experienced vast wage ranges, often low, and extremely high competition for the decent paying gigs).  One thing is for certain, if the planets don’t align and I am not offered a support position I can live on, and I do find myself in school next month, I will not place myself into debt to do so… at least not into long-term student loan debt.


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