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No fee hikes for now

Governor asks CSUs to push talks of increased fees to later date

 

Students can afford to take a sigh of relief after Fresno State President Joseph Castro announced that he will not push forward with proposed fee increases for 2015.

Still in the wake of heavy handed tuition increases after the Great Recession, any fee increase conjures memories of paying more money for fewer class options. Then came Proposition 30, which was fought for and partly achieved because of the activism of students, and with it an implicit promise to end an era of fee increases that nearly made college unaffordable.

However, more and more of the Golden State’s colleges, like Fresno State, have begun pursuing student fee increases in an attempt to keep up with rising expectations of graduation rates.

Thankfully for students, an old ally came to our aid over summer. Governor Jerry Brown reportedly directed “all of us to take a pause on these fees,” according to Castro.

While Castro’s idea for fee increases may have been grounded in good intentions, their implementation would have meant the continued deterioration of one of the central tenets that make the CSUs, namely Fresno State, great — affordability.

In just a decade, from 2002 to 2012, CSU tuition rates nearly quadrupled from $1,428 to $5,472. The vast majority of this increase came due to the recession. Now, for all intents and purposes, out of recessionary economics, students are still paying recessionary rates. Indeed, the conversation should be about how we reduce tuition, not increase it.

Affordability is what makes the CSU system great, and rather than undermining it to improve graduation rates, our eyes should be toward making our campuses more efficient with the resources that they have, and ensuring that students who come to college are already equipped with the necessary tools to face the challenge.