CSU May Add New Tuition Fees

University officials next week will consider implementing fees to encourage students to graduate and avoid repeating classes.

One day after announcing students would receive refunds of up to $249 each thanks to the passage of Proposition 30, California State University officials said Thursday a series of new fees will be considered next week to encourage students to graduate faster and avoid repeating classes.

CSU officials said the fees are aimed at freeing up classroom space, giving more people access to courses.

"It is critical that we provide additional opportunities for eligible students to be admitted to the CSU," according to Ephraim P. Smith, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. "With massive budget cuts, we have had to deny admissions to over 20,000 students who did everything right.

"These changes are meant to provide more access to incoming freshmen and transfer students by helping current students to graduate in a more timely manner."

During its meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, the CSU Board of Trustees will consider implementing three fees.

A so-called "graduation incentive fee" would be imposed on students who have already completed 160 units. The number would be reduced to 150 units in fall 2014. CSU officials said most of the university's programs require only 120 units to graduate, but about 6 percent of the university's seniors are "super seniors" who have already completed at least 150 units. Officials said the fee would encourage students to complete their degrees and graduate, freeing up space for other students.

The board will also consider a third-tier tuition fee, which would be charged to students taking 18 or more units in a single semester. CSU already charges one tuition rate to students who take six units or less, and another rate to those who take more than six. Officials said the fee would free up 32,000 seats in courses each year -- discouraging students from enrolling in a large number of classes only to drop some of them later.

The third fee would be charged to students who repeat courses. CSU officials noted that about 40,000 classroom seats each term are occupied by students who have already taken the course.

According to CSU, the fees are aimed at encouraging students to make more careful decisions about enrolling in classes -- and that decision-making will lead to very few students actually paying any of the fees.


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