Victoria Mejicanos | The Poly Post

Editorial: Tuition hike is just another costly mistake

By The Poly Post, Sept. 25, 2023

Financial problems are something the majority of college students deal with or will eventually deal with during their time at a four-year university, but California State Universities just made things harder for its students. 

The California State University Board of trustees approved a 6% tuition increase each year for the next five years, which totals to an estimated $1,940 across the 23 CSU campuses with a 15-5 vote Wednesday, Sept. 20.  

The CSU has long been one of the most affordable higher education options, even being ranked 14th in Washington Monthly’s 2023 Best Bang for your Buck Colleges, which has given millions of students the opportunity to thrive in higher education and the workforce.   

But now that opportunity is slipping away from students’ grasps with the impending rise in student tuition.   

The CSU claims the tuition increase is a direct result of the inflated prices of other resources needed to run a university and provide a rewarding education to students.  

 This seems to always be the excuse as to why students need to pay more money and why  faculty and staff never receive well-deserved pay raises.  

The financial woes have always been placed on the shoulders of students, faculty and staff, all the while those in administrative positions on campuses around the state sit on their hundreds of thousands of dollar salaries with raises coming continuously as seen with CPP President Soraya M. Coley receiving a 29% raise, gaining more than $100,000 last fall. 

CPP has thrived in recent years, with students and faculty earning the ranking of the 2nd ranked public school for the second year in a row among other acheivments based on their performance inside and outside of the classroom; however, the only ones financially benefiting from the successes is those in administrative roles rather than those on the front lines.   

CPP and many other universities are gifted donations and are the beneficiaries of many grants each year, and time and time again, the money from those grants seemingly disappears and are not represented when the CSU and CPP have their complaints about financials issues.   

Forcing students to pay more in tuition each year over the next five years is just giving prospective students another reason  to choose the community college route or simply not attend college at all. While current students have never seen a tuition increase for perhaps their entire collegiate careers, those starting in the CSU system will see five years of an increase. For a for a system like the CSU that is constantly in worry about low enrollment after CPP tuition revenue decrease by $17 million in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, this move seems downright counterproductive.  

Victoria Mejicanos | The Poly Post

We, as students are tired of our universities constantly asking more of us, taking more of our hard-earned money for tuition raises, parking passes and fees to graduate. 

Those in administrative roles are never asked to give up their housing allowance or their designated work vehicles; it is always asked of us, the students, who are often working a minimum-wage job while balancing five classes.   

Faculty and staff unions battle each and every year to achieve pay raises they rightfully have earned, but during these negotiations, administrators pushed the narrative. If they want bigger raises, then tuition has to go up.   

So rather than take accountability and find alternative options to help the campus community, those in power instead choose to pit students, faculty and staff against each other to fight over crumbs, while those in power take the whole pie.

The campus community fought through a pandemic and a recession. We as a university have persevered in situations no one imagined us to do, all without added revenue from a tuition increase. We can continue that success now. 

We at The Poly Post stand in solidarity with all CSU students in protest against this ruling and demand CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester, University President Soraya M. Coley and all others in positions of power choose to put students, faculty and staff first instead of their own wallets. 

Feature image courtesy of Victoria Mejicanos

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