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Audit: CSU Stashed Away $1.5 Billion And Raised Tuition

Students walk by Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union at San Diego State Univers...

Photo by MILAN KOVACEVIC

Above: Students walk by Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union at San Diego State University, Sept. 24, 2016.

California's state auditor says the California State University system kept $1.5 billion in discretionary reserves while raising tuition at its 23 campuses and lobbying the Legislature for more funds.

Auditor Elaine Howle says in a report released Thursday that CSU put the money, which came primarily from student tuition, in outside accounts rather than in the state treasury.

It says CSU accumulated the surplus from 2008 to 2018. That is during the same time it nearly doubled student tuition. CSU did not fully inform legislators and students about its surplus.

CSU Chancellor Timothy White said in a statement the report is misleading. He called it irresponsible to imply that these "one-time funds" could have been used in place of ongoing revenue sources such as state funding or student tuition.

KPBS is a service of San Diego State University.

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