California State University leaders to decide whether to raise tuition costs next week

California State University financial experts outlined a multi-year tuition proposal on Wednesday morning just days ahead of the CSU Board of Trustees’ bimonthly meeting.

The proposed tuition increase would affect thousands of students attending CSUs, which make up the largest four-year higher education system in the country. The tuition proposal will be voted on during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting on September 13.

Here’s what we know about the proposed multi-year tuition plan:

Tuition increase outlook

The proposed plan consists of incremental 6% tuition increases over the next five academic years.

The first tuition increase is proposed to be $342 for full-time California undergraduate students beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year. The yearly tuition increase would stop after the 2028-2029 academic year.

“Tuition rates will remain at 2028-2029 levels until the board takes another action — if any — for 2029-2030 and beyond,” said Ryan Storm, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, on Wednesday morning.

Below are proposed tuition rates for full-time undergraduate students, according to the CSU multi-year tuition proposal:

  • 2023-2024 school year: proposed tuition cost $5,742

  • 2024-2025 school year: proposed tuition cost $6,084

  • 2025-2026 school year: proposed tuition cost $6,450

  • 2026-2027 school year: proposed tuition cost $6,840

  • 2027-2028 school year: proposed tuition cost $7,248

  • 2028-2029 school year: proposed tuition cost $7,682

“The tuition proposal would generate $148 million of new ongoing revenue in the first year,” Storm said.

Will financial aid help?

The CSU would also dramatically boost student financial aid as part of the tuition increase.

If the tuition increase proposal is approved, the CSU would increase financial aid by $49 million in the first year alone. That’s 33% of what the CSU would gain in revenue from the tuition increase, Storm said.

Overall the university’s financial aid can grow by $280 million during the five-year plan, which would go towards students expenses and help mitigate the 6% tuition increase.

Why does the CSU want to increase tuition?

The CSU system is hoping to address “immediate financial needs, cost pressures and to invest in several key expenditure priorities,” said Steve Relyea, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer for the California State University Wednesday morning.

The scheduled increases would also offers some stability and predictability, Relyea said. Tuition costs have fluctuated over the past 40 years, with no hikes during strong economic years but layoffs, budget cuts “sometimes very severe” tuition spikes in lean ones, Storm said.

Who helped decide the tuition proposal?

Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester created a model work group in 2022 to provide input on the proposed tuition increase.

The group included students, CSU faculty, alumni, Board of Trustees members, university presidents, campus Chief Financial Officers and campus Chief Academic Officers, among other representatives.

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