Published on 2012/08/17

Revenue Search Forces Extreme Measures from CSU

Last week the Los Angeles times reported that the California State University system has taken a bizarre approach to trying to increase tuition revenues during its 2013 spring term.

The system, trying to prepare for a possible $250-million cut, is reportedly planning on denying admission to California residents—whose tuition is subsidized—in favor of the higher tuition brought in by out-of-state and international students. Non-California residents pay an additional $372 per semester unit.

The move would significantly change CSU’s student population. For the fall 2012 semester, approximately 95 percent of students are California residents.

Originally, the plan laid out by Cal State was to freeze enrollment for the spring 2013 term. It would have allowed 10 campuses to accept new students, who would have been limited to community college transfer students and a few other special cases. A spokesman told the LA Times that non-resident undergraduate and graduate students would be exempt from the freeze due to the higher tuition they bring in.

“We need to make appropriate enrollment cuts and that, unfortunately, has to be California residents,” he said. “If a campus has a program with the capacity to bring in students who are not subsidized and who are paying for the entirety of instruction, they could … bring in additional revenue that could go to benefit state residents.”

David Allison, the president of Cal State’s Student Association, told the Times that while he understood the rationale for tough decisions to be made, the resident enrollment freeze runs against Cal State’s mission.

“I do buy the fact that because of budget cuts, a lot of tough decisions have to be made,” he said. “The mission of Cal State is accessibility and affordability.… I find it troubling that students who are not California residents are being given priority.”

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