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Cal State postpones debate on fee hikes for students taking too long to graduate

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California State University trustees cancelled a Tuesday debate and vote on so-called “punishment" fees for students taking too many classes and taking too long to graduate.

 The proposal would add $372 per unit for “super seniors” who have at least 160 units, a $91 per unit additional fee for students taking the same course multiple times, and a $182 fee per unit for students enrolled in 18 units or more at a time. All this is intended to discourage students from enrolling in courses they’ll likely drop later.

Cal State officials said the new fee structure would open seats and push students faster toward graduation day. They said that would allow the 23-campus system to enroll about 18,000 more students.

In a statement issued about two hours before scheduled start of the trustees' meeting, Cal Sate said it would postpone the debate about the new fee structure and added that it “will now be reviewed at a later date after trustees gather additional information and input from stakeholders.”

“Trustees are sending a strong message to students and their families that we are serious about protecting access for all,” said Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, an ex-officio Cal State trustee.

The California Faculty Association called the fee structure “punishment fees.” The organization said students want to be consulted on the proposal.

One of of the university’s key stakeholders is California Governor Jerry Brown, who traveled to Long Beach for the Tuesday morning meeting. Brown reportedly was opposed to the fee structure and was ready to speak against it.