The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Students pay only a portion of the total cost of education

At the start of every semester some students shell out over $1,500 in tution fees, some might pay less and others don’t pay at all. However even if a student pays the full amount the state subsidy still pays twice the amount for our education.’

If a CSUN student pays the total amount of student fees, $3,600 a year, the state pays $6,900, said Harry Hellenbrand provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. The total cost of attendance is at CSUN is $12,960.

The rest, about 20 percent of the total cost, comes from federal grants, gifts and sales.

‘The CSU and UC by national standards are pretty amazing,’ Hellenbrand said. ‘Last year the average cost for an institution like ours was $5,479 per student across the U.S. and if you look at the CSU’s it was $3,600.”

When the tuition fees increase some advocates worry that students will not be able to afford to attend CSUN, however this is a misconception, Hellenbrand said. Because as the cost of attendance increases, so does the amount of financial aid available to students who need it.’

‘If you look at the state books when fees go up one-third are set aside for aid and cal grants are keyed to go up in proportion to the fees,’ he said. ‘The U.S. as a whole puts an amazing amount of money into student aid.”

While he believes that students have every right to protest the fees, Hellenbrand said, they should also take into account how much of their tuition is subsidized and compare it to other colleges in the nation.’

Dr. Shirley Svorny, chair of the economics department, agrees that the CSU system is affordable, however this may cause students not to value the education they’re receiving.’

‘My own observation has been that people go to school but don’t take it seriously because it’s so cheap,’ Svorny said. ‘I think the fees are too low.”

Because a large portion of our education is subsidized it creates a strain on California, Svorny said. ‘

‘If a student doesn’t pay it creates a huge burden on the state’hellip; and if it’s true that disadvantaged students get supplemental aid if the fees are raised then we should raise our fees.”

While financial aid is able to keep up with the tuition increase it may not be the case in the future if Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has his way, said Lili Vidal, director of financial aid and scholarships.’

‘So far when the state university fee goes increases the Cal Grant portion fee also increases to cover the increase,’ Vidal said. ‘However the Governor is proposing to next year separate the Cal Grant fee portion so when the university fee goes up it won’t go up.”

The Iowa native, Wade MacDonald, agrees that California has one of the lowest tuition rates.’

‘In fact California is known for that,’ he said. ‘However I don’t agree with raising fees and cutting classes and that’s what they’re doing.”

MacDonald is also an organizer for. The group plans to protest this Wednesday afternoon in front of University Hall.’

‘We’re not mad at CSUN, we’
re mad at state (legislatures) because they’re the ones who decide how much to give to the campus and the campus has to figure out how to deal with that,’ he said.

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