Free Public Higher Education

Location: SFSU & CSU institutions
Hours: 24/7

In unity between students and faculty it is our right to demand free tuition at public universities within California, mainly SFSU and the broader CSU network. The administration is bloated in this era of unchecked capitalism and the price is a barrier that excludes and indebts our already burdened society without practical returns on this investment. A first step towards this effort would be for the Administration of CSU to cross the line and join its faculty and students who are at the backbone of their success, and show what they can do to join in on this fight.

Consider getting involved in either faculty or student unions to continue the drive towards great equality in our higher education, and showcase the right over commodity that exists. Bring up the topic and find the valid arguments to discuss with your peers as to why we should not means test our education, and not accept complicity or silence on the problem, as it is at the foundation of most hurdles and perils all students and educators face beyond just public higher education.

Research Question:

Can SFSU/CSU Administration join its faculty and students needs, and support efforts to not just reduce, but eliminate the cost for public higher education at its institutions?


  • Higher education costs force many students to work and take out student loans alongside their schooling.
  • The interference with a student’s progress and ability to maximize their success and depth of education.
  • Administrators can earn a six-figure salary, while faculty and departments suffer, which in turn affects their ability to educate their students.
  • High costs of education force the burden of student loan debts, which exclude access and cause a psychological harm contributing to the endless struggles to student life.
  • Stagnant wages in the workforce and high cost of education can affect the outcomes public universities produce.


For decades high reductions in government spending towards higher education has forced massive amounts of state sponsored student loan debt. Additionally, lack of funding has also cut into faculty and department efforts to balance the burden placed on them and the services they can provide, while administration sectors of education have seen growth without advocating for solutions. Students are more than likely required to work low wage jobs outside of their career interests, requiring long hours and lacking appropriate vocation. Furthermore, psychological harm with accruing debt while not being guaranteed an appropriate income after graduating, or even worse, failing to complete their degree. In comparison, a year of trade school can yield a higher salary without the burden of debt. Meanwhile the Administration class has seen an increase in both positions and salary. Unions such as the California Faculty Association has advocated for free and open education.

Challenges Faced:

An example of the blight in our higher education inequality is the debt we bring on to receive our credentials, which don't always return much benefit in the workforce. After working to pay down that initial degree, some might go back to school to out-earn themselves due to credential standards, workplace requirements and pay scale barriers.  The high costs of tuition and living effectively interferes with our learning success and outcomes.

See also:

Food+Shelter+Success (Basic Needs)

Gator Crisis Housing

Low-income Students


Carnevale, Anthony P. Smith, Nicole. “Balancing Work and Learning: IMPLICATIONS FOR LOW-INCOME STUDENTS.” Accessed October 1st, 2020. Income-Working-Learners-FR.pdf

Eagan, Jennifer. “Back to the Master Plan: Why CFA advocates for accessible, quality, and free public higher education.” Accessed October 1st, 2020. article/back-master-plan-why-cfa-advocates-accessible-quality-and-free-public-higher

Greene, Jay P. Mills, Jonathan. “Administrative Bloat at American Universities: The Real Reason for High Costs in Higher Education.” Accessed October 1st, 2020. content/uploads/cms_page_media/2015/3/24/Administrative%20Bloat.pdf

Nassirian, Barmak. “Rethinking Federal Student Aid: Battling Stagnant Wages and Economic Inequality to Keep Higher Education Accessible.” Accessed October 1st, 2020.

Walsemann, Katrina M. Gee, Gilbert C. Gentile, Danielle. “Sick of our student loans: Student barrowing and the mental health of young adults in the United States.” Accessed October 1st, 2020.

2019 CSU Executive Compensation Summary. Accessed October 1st, 2020. compensation/Documents/ExecutiveCompensation_ December2019.pdf