Today's Law As Amended

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AB-393 Public postsecondary education: tuition: enrollment fees.(2017-2018)

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The California Master Plan for Higher Education, drafted in 1960, states that public higher education “shall be tuition free to all residents.”
(b) In recent years, tuition and fees have fluctuated with the state’s budget. Increases in college tuition have been outstripping the cost of living for decades.
(c) When adjusted for inflation, state funding per California State University (CSU) student is near a 30-year low. In 1985, state spending per student was $11,607; today, when adjusted to 1985 dollars, spending per CSU student is $6,888. In other words, CSU students get just 59 cents for every dollar that the state invested in them in 1985.
(d) At the same time, student debt is increasing. The total outstanding student loan debt in the United States is $1,200,000,000,000, the second-highest level of consumer debt, behind only mortgages. Most of this is in loans held by the federal government.
(e) About 40,000,000 Americans hold student loans, and about 70 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with debt.
(f) One in four student loan borrowers are either in delinquency or default on their student loans, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
(g) In 2015, more than one-half of the CSU’s nearly 475,000 students received Pell Grants. The percentage of students receiving them has almost doubled since 1993, the earliest date for which data is available.
(h) A recent study commissioned by the office of the CSU Chancellor found that one in 10 CSU students is homeless and one in five does not always have enough food.
(i) In 1985, CSU students had to work 199 hours at minimum wage to pay tuition and fees for an academic year at the CSU; in 2015, students had to work 682 hours at a minimum wage job to cover those costs. According to CSU systemwide data, three out of four CSU students today work more than 20 hours per week.
(j) In 1985, tuition and fees at the CSU were only $666 per year. Since that time, those costs have grown 923 percent. If tuition had kept pace with inflation, students would be paying $1,519 in tuition and fees; instead, they are paying 4.5 times that amount.
(k) California is home to an estimated 214,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and to one in three of our nation’s DREAMers (students within the scope of the proposed federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act). Of those attending school, 70 percent also work. Eighty-three percent of DACA students in California are seeking an undergraduate degree, and 17 percent of DACA students are seeking advanced degrees.
(l) Of the top 20 most diverse colleges in the western region of the United States, 10 are CSU campuses. Eighteen of the 23 CSU campuses are currently recognized by the United States Department of Education as Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), colleges and universities with a Latino student enrollment of at least 25 percent.
(m) In California, the CSU provides more than one-half of all undergraduate degrees earned by the state’s Latino, African American, and Native American students. More than one-half (56 percent) of CSU students identify as students of color. Roughly 35 percent of CSU undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college. In short, the CSU educates the most ethnically, economically, and academically diverse student body in the nation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 66025.1 is added to the Education Code, to read:

 (a) This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Student Protection Act.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the amount of tuition that is charged to an eligible student of the California State University, and the amount of the enrollment fee charged to an eligible student of the California Community Colleges pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 76300, shall not be increased from the amounts that were charged as of December 31, 2016, until the completion of the 2019–20 academic year.
(c) As used in this section, an “eligible student” is a student who, as of the date of his or her initial enrollment as a student at a campus of the California State University or the California Community Colleges was exempt from payment of nonresident tuition as a California resident, as defined in Section 68017, or pursuant to any of the following provisions:
(1) Section 68123.
(2) Section 68130.5.
(3) Section 76140.
(4) Section 89705.
(5) Section 89707.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), this section shall not be operative in a fiscal year for which the Governor has issued a proclamation declaring a fiscal emergency pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 10 of Article IV of the California Constitution.
(e) The Regents of the University of California are urged to adopt policies that are consistent with the provisions of this section.