The California State University Board of Trustees passed an 8 percent fee increase for all CSU schools Thursday.

Tuition will increase $204 for all undergraduate and teaching-credential students in the 2006-07 school year.

Yearly tuition at each campus will inflate from $2,520 to $2,724, not including the miscellaneous fees, which average $644.

The CSU chancellor’s office stated that even with the annual increase, California State schools are only about half the cost of other state schools across the country.

“CSU student fees are among the lowest in the entire country even with the 8 percent fee increase,” said Colleen Bentley, director of public affairs for the CSU system. “It still keeps us very competitive with universities across the country, especially when you look at the high quality of education.”

The tuition increase is associated with a funding compact signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, University of California officials and the CSU system.

The annual vote to boost CSU fees is limited to a 10 percent increase for each academic year.

Students receiving Cal Grant awards will be supplemented for the $204 increase in addition to their initial aid.

Larry Kelley, vice president for administration and finance at Cal Poly, said that the board of trustees made a commitment to students, saying that the increases would not exceed one-third of tuition costs.

“This increase will put us at just under 30 percent of the cost of education, and projections for the future were that the fee would not exceed 33 percent (of tuition),” Kelley said.

Fee increases will affect the outcome of past budget cuts, allowing schools to hire new faculty, admit more students and purchase new supplies, Bentley said.

“From 2002-05 the CSU had about a $5 million cut in budget, and this year is the first time we have had a budget increase in three years,” Bentley said. “It might hurt a little bit now, but it is going to benefit students in the long-run. If you spread $204 over a year, it’s not very much.”

Students are required to pay more each year because of budget cuts and less financial support from the state.

“The funding of higher education in California continues to be a partnership between the state and the students. The state economy has been lagging for the last few years, causing a larger share of partnership to be paid by the students,” Kelley said.

Even with the raise in tuition, students will continue to see a value in the quality of education and job opportunities, Kelley said.

“Cal Poly can continue to expect the quality that they came here to get,” Kelley said. “We will continue to focus on course availability and graduation rates, and they will continue to see quality faculty and staff being retained.”

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