The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Cal State Tuition:
Designed to Rob Students Who Work

Mar 31, 2014

The California State University system was supposed to have no tuition increases for four years–at least that’s what both state politicians and university officials promised last year.

It didn’t take them long to break their promise. Cal State tuition is going up again; except that now it’s called “student success fee”–in other words, they are imposing another hike, but saying that the quicker you get out, the cheaper it will be. So isn’t that really a hike? What nonsense!

Eleven of the system’s twenty-three campuses have already announced a “success fee,” and more campuses are jumping on the bandwagon practically every day. The amount of the increase varies–so far, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State San Jose have the highest with $630 per year, for an 11.5% tuition increase. On the “low” end, there is Cal State Fullerton with $60–but that’s only in the beginning; the tuition increase at Fullerton will reach $181 per year by the fall of 2016.

Cal State tuition was outrageously high already. Between 2001-02 to 2011-12, Cal State officials increased the tuition from $1,428 to $5,472 per year, for a 383 per cent increase over ten years.

These increases are occurring in a situation where state officials are admitting that school funding is not the problem. Gov. Jerry Brown just announced a 4.2-billion-dollar surplus in this year’s state budget. Brown himself pushed for, and got, a sales tax increase from voters in November 2012, with the promise that he would put more money into education.

These fees will weigh more heavily on so-called “unsuccessful” students who take longer to graduate–that is, on working class students, who are more likely to take longer to graduate due to inadequate preparation before college and who must work while going to school.

Once again, these regressive rates disadvantage working class families from attaining higher education in this blatantly unfair society.