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Did You Know: Cost to attend CSU has increased 923% in 30 years!

It’s common knowledge that the cost of college tuition and fees often leaves empty pockets in its wake, but did you know the average cost of attending the CSU has risen $6,149 since 1985? Back then, tuition and fees were only $666 per year.

That’s an increase of 923%!

In March, CSU Trustees will vote on a proposal to raise tuition by another 5%, or $270 per student annually.

This week, Students for Quality Education at CSU campuses throughout the state are holding actions, educating peers, and asking students and faculty to contact Trustees and encourage them to vote “NO” on the proposed tuition increase. Click here to send an email or call today.

The mounting financial burden on CSU students—who are increasingly first-generation, low-income and students of color—was among the focal points of our latest report, “Equity, Interrupted: How California Is Cheating Its Future.”

In 2015, students had to work 682 hours at a minimum wage job to cover the cost of tuition and fees for an academic year in the CSU. Contrast that with 1985, when a student would have only had to work 199 hours at minimum wage to cover those costs.

Most CSU students are doing everything they can just to survive, said Liz Sanchez, a Sociology graduate student at CSU Fullerton.

“We all pay into the system and expect to be taken care of through mind and body because we are the future,” said Sanchez, who recently battled homelessness as an undergrad at Fullerton. “Yet, instead of investing in our potential, students are now looked at as financial solutions to resolve the system’s greedy failures.”

Madelyn Wright, a Political Science student at Sonoma State University, took out loans her freshman year to pay for school. She works two jobs while balancing 14 units a semester to make ends meet.

“The worst feeling is seeing the money for tuition and fees go up, and seeing the amount of classes we have to choose from decreasing and the amount of students in each class increasing,” she said. “If tuition and fees are going up, I should be getting better services, not worse.”

Sanchez and Wright were among several students featured in CFA’s report. To read more about the impact of disinvestment in the CSU on students in the report, click here.

Click here to use our new online tool to see how tuition costs in the CSU have increased through the years. 

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