- What are the new tuition fee rates?
- Why are tuition fees being raised? What would happen if we refused to raise fees?
- What is the magnitude of the cut in state support to the CSU
and SF State for 2011-12?
- How are decisions about tuition fees made?
- What role does our administration at SF State play in the raising of tuition rates?
- Why is one-third of the fee increase set aside for financial aid? Why not just lower the amount of the fee increase instead?
- How does the University decide what to spend its money on?
- Why does the University spend so much on administration? Are student fee increases funding raises for administrators?
- What is SF State doing to help keep the cost of attendance affordable?
- What is President Corrigan doing to advocate for the students at SF State?
- Can students really be effective in influencing elected officials?
1. What are the new tuition fee rates?
Tuition fees for full-time undergraduates in fall 2012 would rise from $5,472 to $5,970 per year. The new tuition combined with SF State’s campus-specific mandatory fees of $804, brings the total tuition and fees to $6774 per year. Approximately 45 percent of CSU undergraduates will receive increased grant and aid awards that will offset the tuition fee increase.
However, if state lawmakers fund the CSU’s requested 2011-12 budget that includes an additional $333 million, then the 9 percent tuition fee increase may be rescinded.
Details on the fall 2012 state university fee can be found at: http://www.calstate.edu/budget/student-fees/mandatory-fees/1213-feeschedules.xlsx
2. Why are tuition fees being raised? What would happen if we refused to raise fees?
A combination of the overwhelming budget cuts and no fee increase would be devastating to students. Under that scenario, students would still pay the existing tuition rate, but they would have fewer and fewer of the courses that they need to graduate. Year after year, students’ loan debt would increase even though they would not have access to the courses they need to graduate.
3. What is the magnitude of the cut in state support to the CSU and SF State for 2011-12?
The CSU took a year-to-year cut of $650 million -- representing 23 percent of current state funding. This cut was adopted in two separate actions. In May, the California Legislature and governor reduced CSU funding by $500 million. With the final signing of the budget, the California Legislature and governor took another $150 million from the CSU for a total year-to-year cut of $650 million.
When state revenues fell short of initial projections another cut was triggered in December, reducing CSU’s state appropriation by an additional $100 million. Despite this recent loss of an additional $100 million, there will be no increase in tuition rates for the spring 2012 semester.
In just this past year alone, the state will have cut its support for the CSU by $750 million out of a total general fund appropriation of $2.04 billion.
SF State’s share of the total cut is approximately $47 million and equates to more than $1,600 per student. It is also important to remember that this is just the most recent year in a series of years where the state has consistently cut funding for higher education.
4. How are decisions about tuition fees made?
The cost of educating a full-time student at SF State is just under $11,000 per year. This year, tuition paid $5,500 toward that cost and state funding paid the rest. When the state cuts the budget for the CSU, it forces students to bear more of the financial burden.
Annually, the Chancellor’s Office prepares the California State University (CSU) Support Budget that addresses the operating needs of the CSU for the upcoming fiscal year, which may include tuition fee increases. The Chancellor’s Office presents a proposed budget to the CSU Board of Trustees, which oversees the CSU and ultimately adopts the CSU Support Budget -- including whether any modification in fees is warranted.
The CSU Board of Trustees has 25 members, including one faculty and two student trustees. The Board of Trustees votes on tuition fee increases. More information about the responsibilities of the CSU Board of Trustees is available online at: http://calstate.edu/bot/overview.shtml
The 2012-13 CSU Budget Cycle Chart, which shows the process of how the CSU Support Budget is developed, is available online at: http://calstate.edu/budget/fybudget/2012-2013/documentation/budget-cycle-chart.shtml
5. What role does our administration at SF State play in the raising of tuition rates?
Tuition fee decisions are the responsibility of the CSU Board of Trustees and our campus has no role in CSU tuition decisions.
6. Why is one-third of the fee increase set aside for financial aid? Why not just lower the amount of the fee increase instead?
In an effort to keep the CSU accessible to students from less economically advantaged backgrounds, it has been a longstanding CSU policy to set aside one-third of the revenue from tuition fee increases to provide additional financial aid to students in need. Under CSU’s current financial aid guidelines, students from households making $70,000 or less on average pay no tuition. In fact, this year CSU students received more than $625 million in state university grants.
7. How does the University decide what to spend its money on?
Our budget is, overwhelmingly, personnel-driven. It breaks down into salaries/benefits (73.9 percent), non-discretionary and mandatory costs (5.2 percent), Financial Aid (15.4 percent), Student Health (2.0 percent) and operating expenses (3.5 percent). The vast majority of the University’s budget is committed to personnel and other fixed costs. As a result, there is very little flexibility regarding the way that available funds are allocated.
The president chairs the University Budget Committee (UBC) and its membership is comprised of four vice presidents; six faculty representatives, a dean representative, the academic senate chair, a student representative, and a staff representative. UBC discusses budget and enrollment related topics that affect the campus. The University’s operating budget is comprised of the general fund appropriation received from the state, tuition fees, non-resident tuition and other fees (such as application fees and fines).
The audited financial statements for the university are public records and they can be found at: www.calstate.edu/SFSR/GAAP/financial_statements.shtml
Vice President Nancy Hayes’ presentation to the Academic Senate on SF State’s 2011-12 budget can be found at: www.sfsu.edu/~senate/documents/attachments/09.06.11/budget-fy1112.pdf
8. Why does the University spend so much on administration? Are student fee increases funding raises for administrators?
SF State has been vigilant about controlling administrative costs. We have virtually the same number of administrators as we did in 1988 (138 versus 141, excluding development officers, who are fundraisers), and the combined salaries of all of our administrators represents less than 4 percent of the University’s total budget. Administrators at SF State have not received a general salary increase since July 1, 2007 and none are planned.
Control of our administrative overhead contributed to our designation as one of the top 20 most efficient universities in the U.S., measuring dollars spent per student, according to the Delta Cost Project and the Education Trust. We also continue to seek greater efficiencies as evidenced by the recent reorganization of our academic units and the implementation of a number of other recommendations made last spring by the University Planning Advisory Council (UPAC).
9. What is SF State doing to help keep the cost of attendance affordable?
In response to the unprecedented state budget cuts in the past few years, we have vigorously been engaged in cost-reduction planning. In addition to the recent academic reorganization that should save approximately $1 million per year, the University implemented a series of efficiency programs, including climate control management for campus buildings, lighting renovations and utility conservation efforts that have generated an additional $340,000 in annual savings.
10. What is President Corrigan doing to advocate for the students at SF State?
President Corrigan has urged our legislative delegation and the governor -- meeting with them in Sacramento and in their local offices -- to prioritize higher education. During last year’s budget negotiations, he arranged joint meetings of students, staff and faculty with our legislators. He has been a powerful advocate in the media on behalf of students and higher education, and in just the last few months he has appeared on KQED’s Forum and the PBS News Hour to convey the impact of budget cuts on public higher education. The president’s administration has created the Parents Council and an advocacy committee on the University’s foundation board to help foster connections between students, parents and community leaders.
11. Can students really be effective in influencing elected officials?
Higher education is competing with many interests for depleted state funds. Legislators are constantly approached by a wide variety of advocacy groups seeking funding, and many of those groups have genuine and compelling needs. However, as the governor and legislature make decisions on next year’s budget between now and June, students have a significant opportunity to influence them. The 29,000 students at SF State can send a powerful message to the legislature, but a combined effort of the 400,000 CSU students simply could not be ignored. Remember that you are fighting for the next generation of college students, and you should have strong allies among high school students and parents across the state.
You can start by sharing how you have been affected by recent budget cuts and fee increases here: www.sfsu.edu/~news/announce/172.html#form
You should also contact the governor and state elected officials right now, en masse, and in many different forms -- go to their offices, send e-mails and letters, make phone calls, write opinion pieces in the media. Also, prepare for a campaign in the spring to target legislators across the state about the importance of higher education to you, your friends, your family and your neighbors.