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The 2020-21 Budget: Higher Education Analysis


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The 2020-21 Budget: Analyzing UC and CSU Cost Pressures

December 18, 2019 - California operates two public university systems: (1) the University of California (UC), consisting of 10 campuses, and (2) the California State University (CSU), consisting of 23 campuses. The Legislature faces many pressures to increase funding for UC and CSU in 2020‑21. This report examines these university cost pressures, assesses the state’s capacity to fund some of them, and identifies options for expanding budget capacity to fund additional cost pressures.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Higher Education Analysis

February 21, 2019 - In this report, we analyze the Governor's higher education budget proposals.

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The 2018-19 Budget: Higher Education Analysis

February 15, 2018 -

In this report, we analyze the Governor’s higher education budget proposals. We begin by providing an overview of higher education in California. In the next four sections, we analyze the Governor’s budget proposals for the three public higher education segments and the California Student Aid Commission. In each of these sections, we provide relevant background, describe and assess the proposals, and make associated recommendations. The final section of the report consists of a summary of our recommendations.

In addition to this report, we have three other higher education budget briefs that analyze the Governor’s proposals for adult education, Hastings College of the Law, and the California Education Learning Lab.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Hastings College of the Law

February 22, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor's proposal to provide the Hastings College of the Law a General Fund base increase in 2021-22.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Student Food and Housing Insecurity at the University of California

April 25, 2019 - The Governor proposes to provide the University of California (UC) with ongoing funding to address student food and housing insecurity. UC indicates it would use the proposed funds either to augment student financial aid or support specific food and housing initiatives. In this brief, we provide background, then describe the Governor’s proposal. Next, we offer issues to consider and provide associated recommendations.

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[PDF] The 2022-23 Budget: Analysis of Major UC Proposals

February 2, 2022 - This brief analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the University of California, with a focus on base support, enrollment, and deferred maintenance. Also, see our companion piece to this report: The 2022‑23 Budget: UC Climate-Related Proposals.

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The 2021-22 Budget: Various CSU Proposals

March 9, 2021 - This post analyzes four of the Governor’s budget proposals for the California State University (CSU). Specifically, the post covers proposals relating to CSU Stanislaus’s off-campus center in Stockton, the Computing Talent Initiative based at CSU Monterey Bay, CSU’s ability to transfer funds among its accounts, and summer-term student financial aid.

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The 2019-20 Budget: Overview of the California Spending Plan (Final Version)

October 17, 2019 - Each year, our office publishes California Spending Plan, which summarizes the annual state budget. In July, we published a preliminary version of the report. This, the final version, provides an overview of the 2019‑20 Budget Act, then highlights major features of the budget approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. In addition to this publication, we have released a series of issue‑specific, online posts that give more detail on the major actions in the budget package.

Correction (10/29/19): Figure 4 total.

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[PDF] The 2021-22 Budget: Analysis of the Major University Proposals

February 1, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the universities, covering base funding, enrollment, students’ basic needs, faculty professional development, and deferred maintenance.

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California Public Higher Education: Funding Supplemental Services for Low-Income and First-Generation Students

December 20, 2017 - The Supplemental Report of the 2017-18 Budget Act required our office to examine how much existing funding and support is provided to these students and identify options for increasing that funding and support. This report fulfills this requirement.

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The 2021-22 Budget: UC Programs in Medical Education

February 26, 2021 - This post analyzes the Governor's proposal to provide a General Fund augmentation to the University of California's Programs in Medical Education. These programs provide medical education focused on health equity and clinical experiences focused on underserved communities.

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The 2022-23 Budget: California State University

February 15, 2022 - This brief analyzes the Governor’s budget proposals for the California State University. The brief covers base support, enrollment, foster youth programs, deferred maintenance, and climate-related initiatives.

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The 2021-22 Budget: California Community Colleges

February 16, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the community colleges, covering base apportionments, enrollment, students’ basic needs, online tools, apprenticeships and work-based learning, instructional materials, and faculty professional development.

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An Evaluation of CSU's Cross-Campus Online Education Program

January 3, 2018 - CSU is required by statute to (1) adopt a systemwide definition of online education, (2) report biennially on certain enrollment and performance data related to online education, and (3) report on the feasibility of developing an online bachelor’s degree completion program for students who started college but never obtained a degree. Chapter 82 of 2016 (AB 2908, Committee on Higher Education) requires our office to assess CSU’s implementation of these requirements and report to the Legislature by January 1, 2018. This report fulfills that statutory requirement.

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The 2021-22 Budget: California Student Aid Commission

February 8, 2021 - This report analyzes the Governor’s major budget proposals for the California Student Aid Commission, including proposals to expand the Cal Grant program and increase financial aid application rates.

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[PDF] A Required Report on Student Fee Transparency and Accountability

April 6, 2016 -

Chapter 620 of 2012 (AB 970, Fong) requires the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) to fulfill the following three requirements related to systemwide tuition and fee increases:

  • Tuition and Fee Policies. The legislation requires UC and CSU to develop a list of factors to consider when recommending an increase in mandatory systemwide tuition and fees for resident students.
  • Notification and Consultation Procedures. The legislation requires UC and CSU to follow prescribed public notice and student consultation procedures before adopting an increase.
  • Reporting Provisions. The legislation requires UC and CSU to provide the Legislature with annual reports on tuition and fees, financial aid, and the total cost of attendance. In addition, the legislation requires our office to report on UC’s and CSU’s compliance with Chapter 620.

As detailed below, our review found UC was not in compliance with several provisions of Chapter 620. Though the legislation deems its provisions to be required for UC, UC believes it is not legally obligated to comply because of its constitutional autonomy. We found CSU complied with all Chapter 620 provisions except for one reporting requirement.

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[PDF] Implementation of the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act

March 25, 2015 - Chapter 620, Statutes of 2012 (AB 970, Fong), also known as the Working Families Student Fee Transparency and Accountability Act, requires the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) to fulfill three types of requirements related to systemwide tuition and fee increases. As detailed in this report, our review found UC was not in compliance with most provisions of Chapter 620. Though the legislation deems its provisions required for UC, UC believes it is not legally obligated to comply because of its constitutional autonomy. We found CSU complied with all Chapter 620 provisions.