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March 16, 2012

Contact: Matt Lazier, Public Affairs

Cal Poly to Implement Student Success Fee Beginning Fall 2012

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong has announced the university will implement a recently approved Student Success Fee beginning fall quarter 2012. The fee will help support the university’s high-quality academic and student-life programs and Learn by Doing curriculum.

The three-phased implementation will ultimately raise the cost of attending Cal Poly by $260 per quarter. Revenues will be aimed at priorities such as increasing access to labs and classes, speeding students’ progress toward graduation and providing support for additional program investments aimed at increasing students’ overall academic success.
Armstrong requested and received California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed’s approval to implement the fee after a consultation process in which Cal Poly students strongly indicated their support for such an increase. That process included informational forums, endorsements from nearly three dozen student groups and an advisory vote in which 57 percent of the 7,622 participating students voted for the fee. University officials also provided parents of students with information about the fee and solicited their feedback.  Students across all classes supported the fee increase: Freshmen and sophomores voted 62 percent approval, while juniors voted 57 percent yes and seniors 54 percent yes.

“This fee will provide us with significant support for our academic offerings as well as other programs designed to increase our students’ likelihood of success, in particular, their ability to make timely progress toward graduation. All of the increased fee will help enhance the value of a Cal Poly degree,” Armstrong said. “I appreciate our students’ support, which I regard as a statement of their trust in Cal Poly. I promise we will do everything in our power to merit that trust.”

The fee was proposed with two primary purposes. According to the formal proposal, the fee “is to fund initiatives that increase access to classes and laboratories, increase retention and graduation rates, and increase interdisciplinary Learn by Doing experiences.” The fee also “is to fund increased activities and efforts towards student enrichment and development, to enhance campus diversity and multicultural competence, provide support for student-athletes, and provide additional counseling for students in the health center.”

The fee will be implemented in phases over the next three years. Beginning in fall 2012, students will pay an additional $160 per quarter. The fee will be increased by an additional $50 per quarter in fall 2013 and again in fall 2014, for a total increase of $260 per quarter at full implementation.

To help specify how the revenues will be spent each year, Armstrong will form a Student Success Fee Advisory Committee, with representatives from all colleges and with students comprising the majority of members. The committee’s recommendations each year are to be based on university priorities that will enhance student success. Details about the committee will be released in coming weeks.

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