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LONG BEACH, Calif. (Reuters) - Trustees for the 23 California State University campuses on Wednesday voted to increase tuition for the nation's largest four-year public university system by 5 percent despite loud protests from students.
The fee hike, the first for the Cal State system since 2011, comes as its leaders lobby Governor Jerry Brown to increase funding that was trimmed as the state racked up deep budget deficits brought on in part by public employee pension obligations.
"The university faces a critical juncture where additional revenue is needed if we are to continue the trajectory that has seen campuses reach all-time highs in graduation rates," Steve Relyea, executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer of the CSU, said in a statement announcing the tuition raise.
"This is not a course of action that is taken lightly. Through the university's robust financial aid program we will ensure that students who require the most financial assistance will not face any additional burden associated with the tuition increase," Relyea said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that as the board voted, 11-8, in favor of increasing fees students stood up in the packed Long Beach, California, meeting chamber and shouted "Shame! Shame! Shame!"
The smaller University of California system's regents voted earlier this year to raise tuition this year at its 10 campuses by 2.5 percent.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by James Dalgleish