EDITORIAL: Biting the student success fee bullet

In Editorials, Opinion

deferred-maintenance_stdThe student success fee is the best method to raise the funds needed to sustain an underfunded school.

The purpose of the fee that recently passed is to bring in some of that money.

However, the fee comes at a cost to the very students it is trying to serve.

It has only been since Proposition 30 was passed in 2012 that students have felt some sort of reprieve from tuition increases. The stock market crash in 2008 caused a recession.

Education was the target of many budget cuts during that recession in order to keep the state’s budget intact.

These cuts meant universities needed to make up for that lost money somehow and recurring tuition hikes became the answer.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s most recent proposed budget called for a four-year tuition freeze.

This is a good thing for students.

The only problem is that schools—including CSUF—still need a lot of money to pay for campus improvements and maintenance.

These Cal State Universities are at a deficit from the years of budget cuts prior to Proposition 30.

In the past, when schools needed funding, they raised tuition. But the tuition freeze means they can no longer do this. So schools have to figure out how to bring in the much needed funding.

Enter student success fees.

These fees are not classified as tuition increases so they’re fair game and students will still have to pay more.

Although, paying more at a university that already has a relatively low tuition, like CSUF, is not the worst possible outcome.

The fee was lowered from its initial proposed cost of $240.50 to $181. The result is not unreasonable.

CSUF may not be the least expensive CSU, but even with the fee it is still cheaper than UCs and private schools.

Accepting a fee hike that was at least open to student feedback is a lot better than a tuition hike without any consent from students.

It is the students that will have higher paying careers.

It is the students that will have professions that benefit society.

It is the students that will pay more taxes because of their professions.

Campus improvements will allow students to reach the point in their life where they have a career that will make them an asset to society.

It might cause immediate pain to student’s wallets, but this fee is a long term investment that will allow this school to keep up with other schools.

The unfortunate reality is that this fee is needed. This school needs money and given the assets available to them, the administration is trying to find a way to improve student’s economic success.

Until the state gives CSUF more money, this is the best and most inclusive way to help students choose to improve what’s important to them.

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