Business grads face fee increases

Stephanie Olmedo

A proposed $210 per unit fee increase for students working toward master’s degrees in business administration will be presented to the Board of Trustees during March. It could raise the total tuition price from $10,000 to $22,000.

The proposal states 25 percent of the money gained from the increase would be set aside for financial aid that would benefit business graduate students.

Deborah Cours, graduate business program director, said students would benefit from the fee increase in the long run.

Despite the proposed increase, Cours said students would still pay less than they would at other schools for a high quality program accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

“I know any fee increase is not easy on students, but we are more affordable for students than Loyola, Pepperdine, UCLA or USC. We have a good program,” said Cours.

Cours said most graduate students are returning to school because their employers provide tuition reimbursements.

Dina Cervantes, A.S. director of legislative affairs and chair of the California State Student Association, said the proposal was first presented to CSSA by the deans of 17 CSU campuses with business programs.

As part of their proposal, the deans conducted a survey to provide CSSA with student feedback. The study was also conducted in part to show that many graduate students receive tuition aid from their employers.

Cervantes said the problem with the study were the questions students were asked.

“A lot of the questions that were asked were around accreditation and we feel that it didn’t prove a strong argument because only one school was at risk of losing accreditation,” said Cervantes.

The Board of Trustees was then asked to conduct a new survey. The new study, conducted with 440 students from 10 CSU campuses, proved that 67 percent of the students surveyed did not receive tuition reimbursement from employers.

“Graduate student fees wouldn’t stop at $22,000. They would also go up 10 percent every year. It could reach almost $30,000 by 2011,” said Cervantes.

“More money can make a program better, but in light of the current economic situation and how fees have gone up, this really could affect students,” she said.

Student Trustee Jennifer Reimer said, “Currently, all undergraduates…(and) graduates pay the same. This would be a big change in philosophy for students to pay different fees based on their area of study.”

Cervantes encourages students to attend the Board of Trustees meeting on Mar. 11 and voice their opinions.

“We would love to take students with us. If it doesn’t matter to them, then at least they know what is going on,” said Cervantes.