The CSU Today

The California State University system continues to use all its available resources to help students succeed. In the 2019-20 final budget, CSU received from the state a permanent base budget increase of $332.9 million. The state-funded retirement adjustment of $39.3 million received in a subsequent General Fund appropriation is also included in the tables below. The 2019-20 current year total CSU operating budget of $7.2 billion is comprised of $4.0 billion in state General Fund and $3.2 billion in tuition and fees. New resources to fulfill the CSU’s budget request for 2020-21 are $648.3 million.


Operating Budget & Infrastructure​​​
2018-19 Past Year​ 2019-20 Current Year​ ​2020-21 Budget Year ​​2020-21 Increase
General Fund, Operations​
General Fund, Academic Facilities and Infrastructure​
Tuition and Other Fee Revenue​3,277,627,000​

The operating budget is focused on fulfilling CSU's core mission: to serve students with a high-quality, affordable and accessible education. As shown in the table below, the CSU spends 72 percent, $5.2 billion, of its total operating budget on instruction, academic support, student services and financial aid. All of these activities promote student success, enrich the academic experience and ensure that each eventual CSU graduate is ready to professionally succeed.​

Expenditures by Program Area​
Past Year​
Current Year​

Budget Year

Public Service23,264,000
Academic Support727,469,000

Student Services784,122,000
Institutional Support839,137,000
Operation and Maintenance of Plant1,101,001,000
Student Grants and Scholarships751,094,000
New Expenditures

With sustained state support, the CSU continues to be one of the best investments in California. As the largest and most diverse university system in the country, the CSU is doing its part to meet the workforce needs of California while remaining one of the nation's most affordable public four-year universities.

  • Enrolled 481,210 students in Fall 2018;
  • Graduated 127,400 students in 2018-19, 1,480 more than 2017-18;
  • Awarded 107,319 bachelor’s, 19,545 master’s and 536 doctorate degrees in 2018-19;
  • Doctoral programs serve 2,168 students from diverse backgrounds, preparing them for leadership roles in education and nursing, and filling roles in critical fields like physical therapy, occupational therapy and audiology;
  • Improved graduation rates for four-to-six-year first-time and transfer students by 26 percent since 2015;
  • Opened or expanded food pantries or food distribution systems on every campus and continue to build community partnerships to support student well-being, housing and food insecurity; and
  • Plan to hire 367 new tenure-track faculty systemwide.

The CSU also continues to maximize efficiencies and economies of scale to find cost savings and cost avoidance whenever possible. Through joint contracts, energy partnerships and sustainability efforts the CSU is making significant strides in this area.

  • Partnered with University of California, California Community Colleges and other higher education consortia agreements to reduce costs in purchasing goods and services mainly for construction projects, information technology and academic support.
  • Energy efficiency projects in calendar year 2018 resulted in $1.4 million in incentives earned and $653,000 in annual cost avoidance from energy efficiency partnerships with Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric.
  • The Pomona and Dominguez Hills campuses partnered with Southern California Edison and the University of California on a $20 million four-year clean energy optimization pilot program that will help reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.
  • The Chancellor’s Office recently launched a “Sustainable Auto-Sub” program with Staples Business Advantage, a major CSU vendor. This program automatically substitutes commonly purchased products with more environmentally sustainable alternatives that have been identified, eliminating the need for each purchaser to individually evaluate products against sustainability criteria. This program is expected to substantially improve the CSU’s performance in sustainable procurement while also yielding annual cost savings of more than $400,000.