Sac State Students Say ‘No’ to Higher Tuition

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SACRAMENTO -- The State University Board of Trustees consideration of a tuition increase isn't getting much traction among Sac State students, even though they would be the first tuition increases in four years.

The state's contribution to the the state university system is just 50 percent and has dropped for years.

After tuition doubled over a five-year period from 2006 to 2011, the Board of Trustees agreed to freeze tuition after Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to funnel more state money into the university system.

That agreement ends in January, and the university again finds itself in a money crunch after promises to increase enrollment and provide more classes so students could graduate in four years. Measures to increase the number of instructors and open more classrooms also increased costs.

The $270 a year increase being considered seems small, but students say they will feel it.

"$270 sounds like a month's worth of meals to me," said Sac State student Peter Francisco.

Others say that money could go to a parking pass or gasoline.

"The more you raise tuition, the more we have to buy Ramen noodles so we can raise money to pay for school," said student Ashley Goins.

Others say the increase goes against the university's goal of enrolling more students and graduating them in four years to reduce their loans and college costs.

"If you do raise tuition, you have to understand that less students will be going to college," said Senior Eric Reevesman.

And Kayla Lizama, who will already have to stay a fifth year to get her degree in medical administration, says the many working students on campus may have to increase their hours.

"Less time to study and then maybe you fail classes and have to take less classes, and then you really are here five, six years," said Lizama.

Sac State officials say 60 percent of students here get some sort of financial aid averaging about $6,000 per student.

And some students still feel the $5,500 base yearly tuition is a bargain for a degree.

"It's going to be difficult for some, but the education here is definitely worth it ... in the long run," said Sac State student Elijah Williams.

The Board of Trustees is not likely to decide on a tuition increase before next year's state budget is proposed by the governor sometime in January.

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