A tuition increase was starting to look like a reality for Sonoma State University students for this fall. However, despite receiving less than one-third of the budget requested by the CSU last fall, Chancellor Timothy White announced last week that he has decided to not increase tuition for the 2018-2019 school year.
“In light of California’s strong economy, California’s students and their families should not be saddled with additional financial burden to attain public higher education,” White said in a written statement on Friday. White went on to say that California should provide sufficient funding for students so they can have easier access to their education along with their degree completion.
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins said the decision shows that students, staff and community have a voice in the education system and what they are paying for.
“I’m pleased with the CSU’s decision not to pursue a tuition increase for the coming year,” Atkins said. “I pledge to continue our work in the legislature to lower barriers and reduce the cost of quality higher education for all students.”
The reasoning behind the proposed increase was the budget request from the CSU system not being granted. In November, the CSU system asked for an increase of $282.9 million, but was it only received $92.1 million from the governor’s budget that was announced in January.
Due to this budget shortage, White and the CSU said they were considering a four percent increase in tuition for the upcoming year. This would have been the second consecutive year that tuition went up. Pointing the finger at Brown, the California Faculty Association organized a “Free the CSU” march in Sacramento earlier this month where White was a guest speaker.
Elaine Newman, professor of mathematics, statistics and chapter president of the CFA at Sonoma State, said she was proud of the “commitment by our activists.”
“Chancellor White and trustees were part of our rally and spoke about the importance of all of us working together to fight for sufficient funding for the CSU to keep delivering quality education while keeping it affordable for students,” said Newman.
According to White, the CSU is retaining, graduating and enrolling students in record numbers despite the lack of funding. The CSU had almost 100,000 students graduate with bachelor degrees last year alone. Along with this, the system also claims to prepare more than half of the state’s teachers for working in classrooms.
Many students, families and staff members have worked hard to make sure this increase would not take place because of all the negative repercussions.