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CSU trustees approve new policy requiring student vote for fee increases

A sign at the California State University, Los Angeles campus.
A sign at the California State University, Los Angeles campus.
Cal State LA

The California State University board of trustees approved a new policy Wednesday that would require all system campuses to hold student votes on future increases in so-called student success fees.

The policy follows student complaints about the rising cost of attending California colleges. A review of 12 of the 23 Cal State campuses with the fees found they varied widely in the amount they impose, with fees ranging from $162 to $830 a year.

While the success fees represent on average about 4 percent of tuition and fees, and over half of Cal State students receive financial assistance, some said the fees nonetheless add to their financial burden.

Under the new policy, future increases in the success fees will require a binding student vote of 50 percent plus one before they are implemented.

In a report to the trustees, Cal State Chancellor Timothy White said the student vote would be true to the spirit of students choosing to support their own education, and to the principle of local control.

The trustees did not roll back existing fees as some students had demanded

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers imposed a moratorium on increases in student fees until Jan 1, 2016 to give the trustees time to review the issue. The moratorium will remain in place and existing fees will still be charged until at least 2021, a Cal State spokesman said by email.