By Robin Alcantara |Staff Writer|
The California State University (CSU) system is implementing additional mandatory fees despite an agreement made with Gov. Jerry Brown that would maintain tuition costs without increases until January 2016. The agreement would bring additional support to the CSU system from state funds if the tuition cost remained at the current $5,472 per year. Some CSU students, however, are experiencing higher educational costs charged by individual campuses through “student success fees” while standard tuition remains the same, according to the CSU website.
“CSU must reserve the right, even after initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees, without notice,” stated former Chancellor Charles B. Reed, concerning the CSU Fee Policy in Executive Order 1054.
CSU fees are separated into five categories.
Category I is tuition. Category II includes mandatory fees such as a health service fee, student union fee and the student success fee. Categories III through V include required miscellaneous course fees to optional parking and housing fees.
While 11 of the 23 CSU campuses do not have a “student success fee,” 12 campuses have charges ranging from $35 to $780 annually in addition to tuition and other fees.
Reed explained the fee is intended to, “provide improved advising and retention services, increased development opportunities, expanded access to critical technologies and enhanced career services.”
CSUSB adopted the fee in Fall 2011. The fee charges students $54 per quarter, or $162 a year.
The fee has produced $564,800 for available funding for 2015, according to the Vital Technology Initiative Committee’s Developing Proposal.
The committee is composed of six students, three faculty members and two administrators in charge of deciding the uses of these success fees.
Individual petitioners can request funds for “general proposals” and “college specific proposals.”
The committee has developed guidelines for “winning” proposals that benefit petitioners.
University presidents hold the power to increase, reduce, eliminate or implement the success fee as they see necessary to accommodate the needs of their individual campus.
“I didn’t know about this fee,” said student Caroline Combs. “But I don’t mind if the funds go to helping our education, even if the fee is increased, because in the end it will benefit us.”
Critics of the fee call it “a burden of college costs,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
CSU Students for Quality Education’s website reported a 283 percent rise in CSU statewide tuition between 2002 and 2013.
“The success fees have drawn special attention because they are directed toward academic services typically covered under the annual tuition,” reported the Los Angeles Times.
The standard tuition fee does not include Categories II through V fees.
Some CSUSB students, like Sandra Kieler, said “Tuition is not as bad as other universities.”
“If you want to be successful, you have to pay for it,” said Kieler.