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CSU: Student 'Grad Incentive Fee' to be Weighed

One day after student tuition refund announced, new fees will be considered to help make way for 20,000 students denied admission. Goal: for students to not dally or enroll but later drop classes.

Just one day after Cal State University officials announced some tuition rollbacks as a result of  Prop. 30's passage, the same officials announced Thursday that new fees will be considered next week.

A so-called "graduation incentive fee" will be discussed at next week's CSU board meeting aimed at trying to free up space for some 20,000 students that it says have been denied admission at the system's 23 campuses this year.

After announcing Wednesday that some students would receive refunds of up to $249 each thanks to the passage of Proposition 30, CSU officials said Thursday students need to graduate faster, avoid repeating classes and avoid enrolling only to drop a class later. 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 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.

--City News Service and Nancy Wride contributed to this report.

Matt November 09, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I am so gald I am leaving this state. One fee rolled back so another can take its place. Lying politicians and idiot voters make a perfect match.
Joseph McGlinchey November 09, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Guess you didn't read the article, Matt. It's a great idea that will clear space for students who badly need classes to graduate - and will stop the abuse of signing up for 24 units and dropping a couple of classes at the last minute, thereby denying entrance to those with fewer credits who need the class. Get your work done, graduate and get off the taxpayer's dime with the massively subsidized CSU classes. Lifelong / extended education at the taxpayer's expense will hopefully go by the wayside quickly now that the "students" will have to pay more This idea should make educated taxpayers happy, not get them upset. Anyway Matt, I wish you luck wherever you're moving!!
Wes November 12, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Joseph you are an ignorant fool. Do you realize how many students this completely screws over? "Most programs only require 120 units to graduate." ...And the ones that don't? There are a few, I guess, less important majors such as science and engineering which average around 160 or more units per degree. But, eh, who needs scientists right? And what about transfer students? I spent years in community college paying low fees with a full time job and work-related scholarships before wasting my time and money (and the taxpayers money) on a university. I decided to go into science and transferred to a CSU. After only one year of actually receiving any grants or loans I am being pressured to graduate. I will not meet the 150 unit cap, that is for sure. I don't think I am taking advantage of anyone here. In fact, NO ONE I know who is approaching 150 units seems to be taking advantage of the system. We all want to get our degrees and get out with as little debt as possible. This price hike will only serve to to increase drop out rates, decrease science and engineering graduates and further aid in the general dumbing down of our great country. Educated tax payer huh? And on whose dime did you get your education Mr. McGlinchey?

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