Students do not know what to make of the CSU Board of Trustees decision to increase tuition fees beginning during the Fall 2008 semester. The decision marks the sixth tuition increase since 2001.
“I’m pissed off,” said Homan Jalalian, a 27-year-old CSUN junior majoring in business administration.
“I don’t want to pay more money. Nobody does, especially not when you don’t know what it is used for,” Jalalian said. “It’s probably for construction, but they don’t want to say that so they cover it up.”
The 10 percent increase in tuition has students concerned about their economic futures and how they will be able to pay tuition if financial aid does not suffice.
“I wouldn’t say the fees are outrageous, but it’s getting there,” said Travis Cantero, a CSUN junior. “I’m probably going to have to take out loans to pay for school. It’s frustrating when you save money aside and it’s not enough.”
The wallets of working students are suffering because of the increasing cost of gas and living expenses. Many students are being forced to ask friends and family for financial help.
“It affects people like me because I don’t have my family to pay for everything,” said Juuma Randall, a liberal studies major. “I know they would be there if I needed it, but I don’t want to have to ask them.”
Full-time students who receive little or no financial aid and commute to campus are facing the toughest financial burdens.
“I’m pissed and already broke and have no money so this doesn’t help,” said Amy Aviv, an educational leadership graduate student. “I’m a teacher so this really makes me mad.”
Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president for academic affairs for CSUN, said there does not seem to be any other way to obtain money for the campus.
“It’s understandable that people don’t want to pay more money,” Hellenbrand said. “But on the other hand, if they (students) want to have classes available, we need more money for it.”
Hellenbrand also said the campus have received several complaints about the lack of available classes in the last couple of years.
“The student loan has gone up, and we’re trying to make classes more available,” Hellenbrand said. “It’s a busy campus. We have to schedule around the clock.”
“It was a huge problem four years ago, and we chased that away,” Hellenbrand said.
“We don’t want that to return again.”
In response to students’ concerns about their ability to pay for the increased tuition, Teresa Ruiz, public affairs communications specialist for the CSU Chancellor’s Office, said via e-mail that the university understands the increase is not easy for many students.
“The difference between a high school graduate and a college graduate in lifetime earnings is more than two million dollars,” Ruiz’ e-mail message shows.
“Their education is an investment that can never be taken away from them,” Ruiz’ e-mail message shows. “In the end, it will be worth it in every way because their investment in education will be paid back many, many times over.”
Lisa Hauck, who majors in biology, said, “If it improves the quality of the campus, then I’m for it. It doesn’t do much damage, $100 over 3 years is fine if it makes a significant difference.”
Michael Goluza, who majors in financial services, said, “I’m for it. Why not, if it’s a small increase and its good? It’s a small increase, as long as they don’t start to abuse that power year after year.”