For the sixth consecutive year, the 2016-17 systemwide undergraduate and graduate tuition rates per academic year remain unchanged. Prior to this stretch, tuition increased from $1,428 in 2001-02 to $5,472 in 2011-12. For the five years from 2007-08 to 2011-12, during the Great Recession, the CSU was forced to increase tuition at an average rate of almost 17 percent per year (which peaked at 32 percent in 2009) to partially offset severe reductions in state General Fund support. These increases were necessary to assist with the continuing budget needs of the CSU.
In 2007-08 and 2008-09, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a 10 percent tuition increase as agreed to in the Higher Education Compact for each of those years. State funding reductions in 2008-09, as a result of the economic downturn, significantly impacted the CSU and led to two tuition increases in 2009-10. In June 2010, CSU approved a tuition increase of 5 percent; however, when an Assembly Budget Committee proposal to provide additional state revenues was not adopted, an additional mid-year 2010-11 tuition increase of 5 percent was approved.
Two separate reductions of state appropriations to the CSU, totaling $750 million in the 2011-12 fiscal year, resulted in the approval of a 10 percent increase in tuition rates in November 2010, followed by a second increase of 12 percent above the November tuition rates in July 2011. The result was an undergraduate tuition rate of $5,472 for the 2011-12 academic year.
While the Board of Trustees approved a 9.16 percent increase in tuition rates in November 2011 for the 2012-13 academic year, voter approval of Proposition 30 in November 2012 and increased tax revenues allowed the state to “buy out” the previously-approved tuition increase in 2012-13. Tuition rates thus remained unchanged from the 2011-12 academic year and have not changed since.
Under the Governor’s Multi-Year Funding Plan for the CSU, the state committed to increased funding for the CSU from 2013-14 through 2016-17. With greater state funding, the CSU has been able to keep tuition flat during that time.
The table that follows shows a history of changes in CSU tuition rates since 2007.