The new budget also provides for additional funding for CSU Long Beach's Shark Lab. Mustang News | File Photo

Due to a large gap between requested state funds and the amount actually provided by the state of California, the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems are considering a tuition hike for the first time in six years. For the CSU system, the proposal would charge students an additional $270 a year, increasing annual in-state tuition costs from $5,472 to $5,742.

If the proposed tuition hike goes into effect, it would generate up to $77.5 million in revenue system-wide. The money would go toward the current $168 million gap between the amount of money requested for the CSU’s preliminary 2017-18 budget plan and the funding received from the state of California.

The CSU Board of Trustees approved the passage of the 2017-18 Support Budget Request Augmentation on Nov. 15, requesting $167.7 million in state funding from the state legislature and the governor. If the CSU does not get enough funding from the state to cover costs, that would mean scaling back budget request priorities, cutting programs or increasing tuition.

Increasing tuition would be the last course of action. CSU leaders, students and stakeholders will first work with the governor and state legislative leaders toward closing the budget gap by advocating for increased state funding in Sacramento.

If the proposed raise in tuition is approved, the CSU will be able to admit 4,250 new students, which will help with the Graduation Initiative 2025. This initiative aims to double the four-year graduation rate from 19 percent to 40 percent, as well as increase the six-year graduation rate to 70 percent. Both of these goals will help close the achievement gap among low-income students, in addition to improving tenure-track faculty hiring and other functions on CSU campuses.

The Governor of California will decide the final verdict for tuition increase after January.

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