College applicant numbers increase while fees hike

School district superintendent Carlos Garcia recently announced that more than 1,800 students applied for San Francisco State University this year, a 21 percent increase from last year.

He led a round of applause at a Board of Education meeting and thanked commissioners for wearing college sweatshirts to encourage applicants as the November 30 deadline approached.

The increase comes at a time when the CSU system has again raised its tuition by 20 percent in addition to a 10 percent increase approved in May.

Undergraduates now pay $2,370 for a full-time semester.

In a lengthy letter after the fee-hike decision was made, SFSU’s President Robert Corrigan told students about $584 million in state budget cuts to the CSU system and outlined other cutbacks and new procedures.

“There is no way to soften this message: The California fiscal crisis has taken a devastating toll on public higher education,’’ Corrigan wrote.

Some of the changes included furlough days between semesters, earlier deadlines for dropping classes and cutting 428 classes from its fall selection, totaling in 3,075 sections, to compensate for $11.9 million worth of cuts specifically to SFSU.

In his letter, Corrigan also mentioned that one-third of the increase will go toward financial aid students who receive grants.

“We urge you to take full advantage of the advising and mentoring opportunities available to you as you construct your best possible schedule. Some colleges are offering special advising sessions—please check with the Dean's Office in your college,’’ he wrote.

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