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Superior Court Ruling Allows California State University to Offer Self-Supported Summer Sessions

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(May 18, 2010) –A ruling today in a case heard in Superior Court in Alameda County will allow the California State University to move forward with its plans to offer self-support summer sessions. At issue in the lawsuit was the plaintiff’s assertion that self-support summer classes "supplant" or replace classes that are offered in a state-support session.

"We appreciate the court’s recognition that allowing the CSU to offer self-support summer classes is the best way to serve students during these times of severe budget cuts," said CSU General Counsel Christine Helwick. "Most of our campuses will provide courses on a self-support basis for those wishing to continue their studies during the summer."

Petitioners from Cal State East Bay, Los Angeles, San Marcos and Stanislaus sought to require the CSU to reinstate state-supported summer sessions which would have caused campuses to redirect funding from the regular academic year where the most students are enrolled.

Over the past two years, the CSU saw $625 million cut from its budget. To manage this unprecedented fiscal crisis, the CSU implemented a plan requiring employee furloughs and layoffs, enrollment cuts, campus budget cuts and fee increases. Rather than cut enrollment for fall 2010 even further, most CSU campuses plan to offer self-support summer sessions instead of using limited funds for a state-supported summer session.

The elimination of state-supported summer and intersession courses, both of which have much lower enrollments than the regular academic term, was one of the most reasonable options campuses could implement to meet the goal of educating as many students as possible with fewer resources.

Most students will pay fees in the self-support sessions roughly equivalent to the state support level. A small number of summer school students who take more than 10 units will experience an increase, but the cost variances are minimal. In addition, financial aid awards are generally provided to CSU students on an annual basis and would be available for the self-support summer session.

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The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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