By: Domanique Crawford
As Humboldt State students struggle with affording available housing and hot meals, we can now add the extra burdens of the proposed tuition fee increase to our list of troubles for the 2017-18 academic school year. Students are surprised the decision is up for discussion and are outraged.
“I think it’s high enough already,” psychology major and single mother Tanya Repair said. “I get financial aid and that’s the only reason I can come.”
University of California will formally propose to the UC Board of Regents at the end of January. The new plan will increase the tuition fee by five percent, and students like Repair who struggle financially are worried about what the increase will mean for them. Funding education is expensive, and that expense is a major deterrence to wanting to reach for anything higher than a high school diploma.
When Governor Jerry Brown enacted the college tuition freeze almost five years ago, it was a temporary halt to the ever-increasing hikes that have already been witnessed in the UC and CSU school systems. These hikes would follow the rate of inflation.
One of the top concerns is that a tuition fee raise, even one that is only five percent, will affect financial aid disbursement amounts because it is the only protection they have against the already high costs of college. Though students want to oppose any increase in educational expenses, the incremental annual increases to tuition is meant to help students manage the additional cost at a more reasonable time frame.
Alice Abler, HSU child development major and scholarship recipient said even though she has money to pay for college, she is worried about other students.
“You want a more diverse population for everyone,” Abler said, “not just people who can afford it.”
According to HSU President, Lisa A. Rossbacher, if the tuition fee is raised then HSU financial aid would be increased to cover low-income students, including qualified California Dream Act students. Financial aid funding will increase to cushion the costs.
“The tuition increase being discussed at the system level would not exceed $270 for full-time undergraduates for an academic year and a similarly proportional increase would apply to graduate students,” Rossbacher said in an e-mail. “The increase would apply to all students in the California State University, including at HSU.”
Although students are angry about the proposed rising tuition, the new fees are designed to provide a cushion for costs for future crises. The administration wants to avoid the steep and dramatic costs we have witnessed in previous years. Eventually, the cost of tuition will rise. Hopefully, the measures the administration have taken will prove viable enough to aid those who already struggle with the high cost of education.