Individual campuses might be allowed to raise out-of-state tuition at their discretion, per a California State University (CSU) task force recommendation.
While tuition changes will not be effective in the near future, it is still necessary to reevaluate the current financial model. The Task Force for a Sustainable Financial Model for the CSU system released a draft report proposing that CSUs consider alternative methods for allocating state funds, such as performance and outcome-based funding.
“To meet the state’s college degree deficit, the state needs to consider new approaches for funding the university,” CSU Director of Public Affaits Toni Molle said. “The CSU’s budget is currently discretionary and annual funding is unpredictable and volatile.”
In doing so, the Task Force recommends that individual campuses have the authority to propose market-based tuition for non-California and international students. However, an increase in tuition would not be implemented in the upcoming years, Molle said.
“CSU has no plans to raise tuition in 2015-16 or 2016-17 and will continue to honor the provisions of the governor’s multi-year funding plan, which includes a commitment to stabilize tuition fees through 2016-17,” Molle said.
The draft report will be reviewed and discussed at the November Board of Trustees meeting, but no action will be taken. Following the meeting, the task force will issue a final report which will be brought before the board at its January meeting.
For every California resident student, Cal Poly receives funding from the state, however, the state does not contribute for non-resident students, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong said.
“The CSU contributes around $5,000 for every California student, which is the biggest driver of the budget,” Armstrong said. “Non-resident students do not provide Cal Poly with funding from the state, and so they pay $10,000 extra.”
To maintain the high education quality, Cal Poly currently has, it will require greater financing. Therefore, an increase in tuition would be beneficial for the university.
“I think it’s an excellent time because of the value of the Cal Poly degree,” Armstrong said. “Our Learn by Doing curriculum encompasses three of the four high-investment majors in the CSU system: agriculture, architecture and engineering. So we need to maintain the quality of their educational experience.”
This potential funding, it would be allocated throughout the university.
“If there is an increase in tuition, we would do several things with the funds: Enhance student experience, hire additional faculty and staff and pay them better, and build additional facilities,” Armstrong said. “Another important point is that we need to provide additional scholarships and support for lower income students.”
Non-California resident and sophomore mechanical engineering student Lisa Kusakabe said there is value in paying additional tuition because the Learn by Doing motto is integral to her learning experience.
“If the funding from an increase in tuition for out of state students would be used for Learn by Doing purposes, it is going to be beneficial for my education,” Kusakabe said. “The thing that makes Cal Poly stand out to recruiters is the fact that we have computer labs and have learned technical skills with programs like SolidWorks and CAD.”