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California Public Universities Plan To Freeze Tuition Next Year, Citing Gov. Gavin Newsom's Budget Proposal

Ben Margot / AP Photo

FILE - In this April 21, 2017, file photo, students walk past Sather Gate on the University of California, Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif.

Ben Margot / AP Photo

The University of California and California State University systems say they do not expect to raise tuition this fall because Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed hundreds of millions of dollars more than previous state budgets under former Gov. Jerry Brown.

As he released his spending plan earlier this month, with more than $500 million in ongoing funding increases for the UC and CSU combined, Newsom was asked if he expected the universities to freeze tuition.

“They better!” he replied. “Or else that money’s being taken away in the May Revise!” referring to the updated spending plan that governors release each spring.

The governor appears to be getting his wish.

CSU Chancellor Timothy White told his board of trustees this week that, thanks to Newsom’s budget proposal, he won’t ask for a tuition increase.

“In response to his visionary budget, I will not bring forward any request for the trustees to consider a tuition increase for our 2019-20 budget,” he said in his annual State of the CSU address. “You heard me correctly: Tuition is off the table.”

The UC Office of the President is hedging its bets a little. Spokeswoman Claire Doan says UC “does not anticipate” tuition increases in the coming year, although she  added that “discussions about the university budget” will continue.

Notably, both universities say out-of-state and graduate students are included in the freezes — not just California undergraduates.

After years of constant tuition increases during the Great Recession and state budget crisis through the 2011-12 academic year, the UC and CSU have since raised in-state undergraduate tuition just once — in 2017.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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