CSU Trustees have indefinitely tabled discussion on proposed tuition hikes -- an item on Tuesday's agenda that prompted students to organize a protest during the trustees' board meeting in Long Beach.
Trustees want to gather more input on the administration's plan before deciding on the proposals, said CSU spokeswoman Claudia Keith. The decision had nothing to do with the expected protests, she added.
The three proposed fee hikes are designed to push students to earn degrees faster and provide additional admissions for new students. The plan would free up about 18,000 additional enrollment slots and classes for current students, according to CSU officials.
"With massive budget cuts, we have had to deny admissions to over 20,000 students who did everything right," said Ephraim P. Smith, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, in a statement. "These changes are meant to provide more access for incoming freshmen and transfer students by helping current students to graduate in a more timely manner. Also, these provisions will free up more seats for current students to make better progress to a degree."
The three fees are called a graduation incentive fee, third-tier tuition fee and course repeat fee.
Students who have already completed 160 units -- more than 80 percent of CSU degrees require 120 semester units to graduate -- would pay the graduation incentive fee. The 160-unit standard would be reduced to 150 units in the fall of 2014.
Under the third-tier tuition fee, students taking 18 units or more in a semester would be charged. CSU already charges on a two-tier system -- one that charges students who take up to six units, another for those who take more than six units.
The third-tier is designed to discourage students from enrolling in a large number of classes, then dropping them later.
The course repeat fee would be charged to students who repeat courses. There are 10 course repeats per 100 undergrads each term, according to CSU.
Gov. Jerry Brown attended Tuesday's meeting
"There are issues," Brown said. "Can students just take courses over and over again? Can they hang around for seven or eight years? That has cost and we're going to have to find a way to curb it."
No student would be assessed more than one of the fees per term.
"I know this is the same way a lot of students feel that they have to decide whether they take on extra hours at work and get worst grades and have to retake a class some time later, or drop out of school," said Natalie Dorado, senior at Cal State University San Bernardino.
Students still protested on Tuesday, despite the board's decision not to discuss the plan. It was not immediately clear whether the board planned to vote at Wednesday's meeting.
If approved, the fee structure would begin in the fall of 2013.