No tuition increase for 2018-19

Many variables affect Humboldt State’s planning for the 2018-19 budget – and there is a lot we don’t yet know.

California’s state budget appears to be in pretty good shape, but many factors remain unknown.  We can’t predict what funding the legislature will recommend for the CSU, nor do we have a good clue about what the Governor will approve.  We don’t know what HSU’s fall enrollment will be, and therefore we don’t know what the tuition revenue will be – and this represents about half of the University’s operating budget.   We don’t know how many courses those enrolled students will take – which drives the number of faculty needed to teach those classes. 

However, we do know one thing about next year’s budget:  tuition will not increase. It’s off the table.  Chancellor White and the California State University’s Board of Trustees have decided not to consider the possibility of a tuition increase any further for 2018-19.  (The news statement from the CSU is available here:  https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/news/Pages/California-State-University-Will-Not-Increase-Tuition-in-2018.aspx.)

This decision will create some additional funding challenges for campuses in the CSU, but Humboldt State has already been preparing for this possibility.

And this decision will be good for our students.  Holding tuition at its current level means that students will not have to find the resources to cover the increased cost of their education.  The proposed increase of several hundred dollars per student may seem like a small amount to some people, but for students who are struggling to pay for food and rent and textbooks – the impact can be enormous.

We all hope, in the long term, that keeping tuition the same for next year will result in increased state funding for the CSU.  At meetings of the CSU Board of Trustees, the public comment section is dominated by students who plead with the Board not to raise tuition – and to hold our state legislature accountable for supporting public higher education. The Chancellor’s decision puts the ball squarely in the legislators’ court, challenging them to do the right thing.   An educated citizenry should be among the state's highest priorities.

Many uncertainties remain, but the CSU will continue its strong advocacy with the state legislature and the Governor for full funding of the Board of Trustees’ budget request for 2018-19.  More information is expected to be available in mid-May, when the Governor revises his budget proposal and the legislature takes action on next year’s state budget.