SAN FRANCISCO — California State University trustees are considering raising tuition for the second straight year, a move officials said Tuesday would be a last resort if the state does not chip in more funding for the country’s largest university system.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget allocates a fraction of what the system’s 23 campuses need to maintain their quality of education at a time of record-high enrollment, university officials told the trustees at a meeting in Long Beach.
“Our top priority is to seek additional state funding,” CSU Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget Ryan Storm said. If that fails, trustees will have to consider several unpopular options including reducing enrollment, cutting programs or increasing tuition, he said.
“These are not strategies we want to pursue, they are not desirable but they may be necessary to balance our budget,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea.
The proposal being considered would raise tuition for California students by $228 in 2018-19, bringing the annual cost of undergraduate tuition to $5,970. Tuition for in-state graduate students would increase $432, bringing the annual total to $7,608.
A similar increase was approved in the previous academic year, the first since 2011.
Trustees would not consider raising tuition until at least May, CSU Chancellor Timothy White said in a statement.
The governor’s proposed budget includes $3.8 billion for CSU in 2018-19, which includes a $92.1 million increase in state funding — less than the $263 million the system requested, White said.
The Legislature will approve the budget in June.
The University of California is also considering raising tuition at its 10 campuses due to what it calls inadequate state funding. The UC Board of Regents last week delayed a vote on increasing tuition until May, saying its officials also will lobby the Legislature in the interim.