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CSU students struggle to pay for college in unexpected ways




Demonstrators are reflected in windows at the main entrance to the CSU Chancellor's office in Long Beach Wednesday. Students and activists were showing their opposition to a systemwide $280 per semester
Demonstrators are reflected in windows at the main entrance to the CSU Chancellor's office in Long Beach Wednesday. Students and activists were showing their opposition to a systemwide $280 per semester "Student Success Fee."
Stuart Palley/ KPCC

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It should come as a surprise to precisely no one that paying for college is a challenge for a lot of people. Even in the California State University system, where tuition rates are among the lowest in the country, students struggle financially. And not in the ways you might think.

Food and housing insecurity have increased college debt for some low-income CSU students — even when grants cover their tuition.

That's according to a report co-written by The Institute for College Access and Success and the Cal State Student Association.

For more, Take Two spoke to Marcos Montes, vice president of Legislative Affairs at the Cal State Student Association, and Debbie Cochrane, vice president of The Institute for College Access and Success.

Highlights: 

Marcos, what are the biggest misconceptions about Cal State affordability?

The CSU gets compared to other public institutions in the nation, and they say that the CSU is relatively affordable. When it comes to tuition and fees, it is affordable, but the CSU is in the state of California, where the living costs are high for students, and that's pushing students to take out loans and work extra hours.

We have to look at it more critically and analyze why students are taking out these loans, and they're not able to focus solely on their studies.