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Fee Increase Process Involves Students

As the state of California has been slashing higher education spending over the past decade, the University of California and the California State University systems have been forced to increase their tuition rates to account for the shortfall. This is forcing students to reach deeper into their pockets with little warning. However, a new law will be introduced in 2013 that will protect students from this unpredictability.

The bill, California Assembly Bill 970, legislated that students must receive more advance notice from both of the major public university systems. It will allow students to be a part of the institutions’ budget processes before any fees are adjusted and finalized.

It is expected that the new bill will help students better understand the fee structure changes that impact their tuition levels. Typically, universities’ fee increases are implemented without any advance notice to the students or the communities. The new bill is the first step toward students becoming more involved in the budget and pricing processes of their respective higher education institutions.

The San Francisco Examiner reported that Assemblyman Paul Fong, who helped craft the bill with Assemblyman Marty Block, said in a statement that the bill would make the pricing model for California higher education more transparent.

“This measure will ensure that student fee increases are discussed in an open and public manner, provide students with advance consultation and notification in order to prepare for these fee increases if they are needed, and provide transparency so the public is aware of how these new student fee revenues will be used,” said Fong.