Tuition & Fees – $6,000. Books & Supplies – $1700. A quality education – PRICELESS

Raising tuition is never an easy decision, but has unfortunately become a necessity in recent years to correct the shortfall of support provided by the state.

As expected, the CSU Board of Trustees voted today to raise tuition once again, marking the fourth time it has voted as such in three years.

With a 5 percent increase hitting students for the winter and spring terms, and another 10 percent taking effect next fall, CSUB students will pay about $4880 for tuition, plus another $1100 or so in campus-specific fees.

It’s important to note that while the CSU is forced to put the squeeze on students and their parents, an education at CSUB is still a relative bargain. For instance, the nearly $6,000 a student will pay per year at CSUB is far below the national average for like universities at $8,682. In fact, the CSU is one of the most affordable — if not THE most affordable — public four-year university systems in the entire country. (click here for more details on how the CSU compares to other universities).

There is even more to consider when contemplating the recent tuition increases. Remember, an education is an investment in one’s future. And a good one it seems. According to The College Board, a typical full-time year-round worker with a four-year college degree will earn in excess of 60 percent more than those with only a high school diploma over their working life.  This amounts to roughly $1 million. Those who stay in school to earn a master’s or professional degree reap even greater rewards.

Are there exceptions? You bet. But, overwhelmingly, it pays to go to college no matter how much you pay in tuition and fees.

Let’s do the math: Assuming $6k for tuition and fees, plus $1700 for books & supplies, plus $10k for room and board, your average education at CSUB will run in the ballpark of $18k per year, or $72,000 for a four-year education. On the flip side, according to 2008 findings by the U.S. Census Bureau, the average four-year college grad makes about $57k per year annually, or nearly $2 million, assuming a 35 year working life.

By my best estimation, a college education provides a rock solid return on investment.

— Rob Meszaros, Director of Public Affairs and Communications