The board of trustees met this Tuesday to decide the future of the CSU system. Scheduled for discussion is a 20 percent increase in student fees, a reduction in enrollment by 32,000 students systemwide for 2010-2011, and employee furloughs as a way to address a $584 million budget shortfall.
These cuts may address the budget crisis, but how are college students impacted by these changes?
21-year-old sociology major Nathanes Duro will be a senior at Cal State San Bernardino this fall—if her financial aid goes through. Until then, she will continue to work two jobs. She is currently working as a student assistant to the associate dean of undergraduates at San Bernardino and as a student organizer at the California Faculty Association.
We spoke with Miss Duro this week.
Have you been affected by CSU budget cuts?
Yes, I have been affected by the budget cuts. This summer I dropped out of summer school because financial aid ran out. I was enrolled in two classes that cost about $1300. I depended on financial aid. Numerous students applied for financial aid but it’s first come, first serve and I was left out and had to drop out. Once I start school I will work three jobs. I’ve noticed in the past years that I can’t support myself financially. I can’t pay my bills, food, parking, books, and basic necessities. That’s why I have to juggle work and school.
Will you receive financial aid next semester?
For the upcoming year I am on the edge. I received an email saying my financial aid is up for review. This is to see if I will qualify for the next year. I think I won’t receive it.
Why do you feel like you won't get financial aid?
Well, because I’ve talked to students whose financial aid was dropped their fourth year in school and I think I will be one of those students. I didn’t think that was going to happen, but it looks like it might. I’m hoping for the best, but I’m looking for grants and scholarships and working.
What will happen if you don’t receive financial aid?
If I don’t get financial aid…I think about the first time I applied for college and I was short a thousand dollars. My grandparents, uncles, brother and sisters came together and helped me out and that was with financial aid. If it gets taken away, there is no way I can pay for school. I will need to look for grants and scholarships. I cannot afford to take a quarter off.
Has your tuition increase?
Sophomore year my tuition was $1100 and covered by financial aid and I also received $800 for books, housing, food, parking, and other necessities. Last semester my tuition went up to $1400 and financial aid covered $1300 and a check for $250 for necessities. My tuition is expected to go up $600 more, if they (the Board of Trustees) agree to increase students’ expenses.
What are your future goals once you graduate?
I want to be optimistic. I’m looking into graduate school. On CSU Mentor’s website, (a website that keeps students and parents informed about CSU system and allows students to apply to CSU colleges and financial aid) it says they will not accept applications until fall 2010. If I wanted to apply for graduate school with in CSU system, I will not be able to. That pretty much leaves me out. It throws my planning off.