Less money, more problems: budget cuts hit CSU and UC campuses

(Image from CSUB's Financial Aid Annual Report from 2012-13)

(Image from CSUB’s Financial Aid Annual Report from 2012-13)

By Yienessa Warren

Staff Writer 

The United States Legislature adopted two budgets that cut funds for the CSU system and UC system by over $2 billion. The budget that was passed cut higher education by more than $911 million in the General Fund. Assembly Bill 114 reduced community college funding by approximately $230 million.

Community colleges would face another cut of $389 million under the 2012-13 majority vote budget. Both CSU and UC systems would sustain a $250 million trigger cut.

Governor Brown’s January 2012-13 budget proposal included cuts to education that would have been triggered if voters reject his plan for tax increases.

The Senate and Assembly Republican caucuses created the “Budget Roadmap to Protect Classrooms and Taxpayers.” This document suggested alternative savings of more than $4.4 billion that could have been used to help avoid trigger cuts.  The majority party rejected the proposal as a whole. However, solutions presented within the document were used to protect health and welfare from cuts.

Tuition has increased by approximately $1.8 billion over the past two fiscal years. This comes as a response to the massive cuts that were imposed on California’s public colleges and universities.

For the 2011-12 academic year, CSU Trustees agreed to a 23.2 percent tuition increase. CSU Trustees implemented another tuition raise of nine percent that took effect in fall 2012. This brought tuition to $5,970.

Despite the $2 billion in budget cuts and routine tuition hikes, the majority party approved to cut five percent from the Cal Grant Program. Students who receive Cal Grant can expect to receive $500 less than the previous year.

Along with the decrease in awarded money, the required GPA for Cal Grant A increased 3.0 to 3.25; Cal Grant B GPA requirements increased to 2.75 from 2.0. Students had to meet the GPA requirements and file all necessary paperwork by March 2nd in order to receive funding.

According to Rex Barber, Assistant News Editor for the Johnson City Press, a sequester was set to go in effect on March 3 at midnight. With the sequester in place, funding for work-study programs will be reduced by $36,934. Also, direct loan origination fees will increase on July 1.

CSUB students were given positive news after Proposition 30 passed on Nov. 6. Prop 30 will raise income taxes for the wealthiest residents of the state and temporarily increase the state sales tax by a quarter of a cent to help fund higher education.

As a result of the Prop 30 pass, CSUB students received a refund for $166 in an attempt to offset the tuition fee increase that took place in fall 2012. 2012-13 tuition fees will fall back to $5,472 like the 2011-12 academic school year. However, CSUB’s revenue can expect to be reduced by $2.6 million.

In a statement issued by the Department of Public Affairs and Communications, President Mitchell said,”The passage of Prop 30 will help to stabilize our budget in an era of massive state government cuts to education. While it will not provide any new funding for the CSU, it prevent[ed] an additional ‘trigger cut’ of $250 million in January.”

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