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Budget deal invests in financial aid, enrollment growth at California’s colleges and universities

Budget deal invests in financial aid, enrollment growth at California’s colleges and universities


Michael Burke and Ashley A. Smith

June 29, 2021

Under the budget approved Monday by California lawmakers, the state’s public colleges and universities are slated to receive a range of new investments that will allow them to grow enrollment, expand financial aid and support their students’ basic needs. 

The budget, which now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk, also restores cuts that were made last year near the height of the pandemic.

Below are highlights of what the budget includes for California’s public university systems and community colleges, according to a summary of the deal.

California State University 

  • The 23-campus California State University, which enrolls about 486,0000 undergraduate and graduate students, would receive an increase of $185.9 million in general funds and $299 million restored from last year’s pandemic-related budget cuts.
  • The system would also receive $81 million in ongoing dollars to increase enrollment by 9,434 new students in the 2022-23 academic year.
  • The system would also see $325 million in one-time dollars for deferred maintenance and projects to improve energy efficiency.
  • The budget also includes $2 million in one-time dollars to study nonfaculty salary structures.
  • Some campuses would see an increase in one-time funding, including $25 million to CSU Northridge for a technology and equity center to help underrepresented Black and Latino students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math. The system would also receive $433 million in one-time dollars and $25 million ongoing to support transitioning Humboldt State University to a polytechnic institution.

CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro labeled the budget as a “visionary investment” in the university system that would help to meet the current and future needs of California.

“One-time funding will address long-standing infrastructure needs at specific campuses and throughout the university, improving the safety of and modernizing facilities to enhance the student learning and discovery experience,” Castro said in a statement. “The direct investment in the CSU and access to additional funding will undoubtedly advance our efforts to ensure that all California students are able to earn a high-quality college degree in a timely manner without being saddled with debt.”

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