Tuition continues to rise at SDSU

Rachael Phillips

The fall 2009 schedule is back online for San Diego State University students to register for classes after it was taken down in May for adjustments, according to Gina Jacobs, manager of media relations for SDSU.

In May, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a 10 percent fee increase for undergraduate, credential and graduate students, causing SDSU to temporarily take down the class schedule as they reevaluated which classes they were going to continue offering.

On July 21 the board approved a 20 percent fee increase for students, mandating furloughs for management and non-represented employees and enrollment cuts for all 23 campuses over the next two years, according to the CSU Web site.

SDSU junior Daniel Brown said, “If fees were not raised, then quality and accessibility would have to be compromised.” He adds, “I am certainly not happy about, nor do I believe that anybody else is happy about, the huge increase but it was a necessary evil.”

Annual fees for full-time undergraduate students will increase by $672, with each semester now costing $2,451. The mandatory SDSU campus fee will remain at $438 for all students. Those students whose families make less than $75,000 and receive financial aid will not see a fee increase, Jacobs said.
“Nationwide, we’re still significantly lower compared to other public institutions,” she noted.

Jacobs adds that students will need to be more flexible with their schedules. SDSU has reduced the number of sections for many courses, as well as the time they will be offered.

When students log on to WebPortals to register for classes, they will see a message from SDSU that states, “Please note that the fall 2009 class schedule is provisional and subject to change based on the final 2009/2010 CSU and SDSU budget and enrollment demands.”

As students continue to register for classes, they are experiencing first hand the overwhelming effect the budget cuts have caused, making it difficult for some.

“It is so much harder to register because there are a lot of classes that have been cut,” said Jessica Bouchey, a junior at SDSU, adding that “there are certain classes that are now only offered during one semester out of the year.”
Fall enrollment has also been limited due to the lack of funds. Out of the 55,000 applications SDSU received for the fall, there is only enough space to accept 7,000. This is approximately 600 less than the previous year’s available space, according to Jacobs.

“We’ve closed spring admission,” said Jacobs. “We haven’t had an open spring admission since 2007.”

Students are not the only ones taking a hit. Employees are essentially taking a 10 percent pay cut with furloughs. By implementing the furlough, the state would mandate that employees take two unpaid days off each month, essentially to save jobs and money, Jacobs said.

Beginning Aug 1, it is required that all management and non-represented employees, including the chancellor, presidents and executives, to furlough the two days per month. The CSU estimates they would save $275 million in cost reductions if all 47,000 CSU employees furloughed twice a month, according to the CSU Web site.

All 23 CSU campuses are facing cost saving measures in order to reduce their budgets by $183 million.

The threat that the state might cut Cal Grants forced SDSU to launch a fundraising program for scholarships in order to help lower income students pay for rising costs, said Jacobs. She noted that about 4,500 students applied for a scholarship last year but there was only enough money for approximately half those students. Some scholarships don’t get applied to, Jacobs added.