SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- They are called super seniors, college students who aren't necessarily hitting the books that hard, but are good at making college a quasi-career.
Now, the Cal State system wants to charge these students more. Cal State University estimates its students system wide, repeat 80,000 classes every academic year. That's space that another student could taking advantage of as they work to graduate. So, CSU is asking why not charge those career students more, to get them out the door. Cal-State student Justin Campbell is a super senior, he's traveled abroad, and says by racking up units he's been able to find his path. "I wasn't bothered by trying to finish up quickly it was more about the journey than how long it lasted, more about the means then the ends," said Campbell."
Now the CSU Board of Trustees wants impose a fee on students like Campbell still trying find their way. The university said if you have more than 160 units next fall, you would pay $372 per semester unit or $248 per quarter unit on top of the normal tuition. That will bring up in-state super seniors total tuition to about the same as an out of state student pays.
For some freshmen we talked with today, graduating on time isn't as easy as it looks. "I am definitely going to try my best to give it a straight shot but there are a couple fun classes that I really want to take to try out different areas and see what other options are out there," said Freshman Piper Wright.
The fee is supposed to be an incentive for students to graduate faster, but students like Campbell say it's beginning to create an economic divide. "It starting to become a system where most people can't afford it, only the rich can go to school and I think that's wrong, the whole point of the CSU to open up a public education is that its all encompassing," said Campbell.
On Tuesday the CSU Board will also discuss another fee for students who take more than 18 units per semester, they will be charged for "excess units" as much as $182.
According to Cal State data, it takes 6 years for 50% of Cal State students to graduate. Only 16% graduate in 4 years.