Anthony Gallino found out Tuesday that he will have to earn a paycheck this fall in addition to attending Sonoma State University.
"Last year, I didn't need a job," said Gallino, who will be entering his second year at SSU. "This year, without question, I will need to have a job."
That realization came after Tuesday's decision by California State University trustees to raise tuition by 12 percent at each of the system's 23 campuses.
That comes on top of a 10 percent tuition hike approved in November.
The result is that Gallino's basic tuition bill charged to all CSU students will rise by $1,030, from the $4,440 he paid in school year that just ended to $5,470 starting in the fall.
The latest increase, amounting to $588 a year, takes effect in the fall semester and bumps yearly CSU's basic tuition to $5,472, an amount that does not include campus fees or room and board.
The increase will prevent further cuts, said SSU President Ruben Armi?na, but many more students will need to "become more aware" of financial aid assistance and other, private scholarships.
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said the 12 percent was forced by the state budget, which cut $650 million from CSU's funding.
"The enormous reduction to our state funding has left us with no other choice if we are to maintain quality and access to the CSU," Reed said in a statement.
Also, the University of California Board of Regents is expected to raise tuition Thursday by nearly 10 percent, or more than $1,000 a year.
Students like Gallino, who in the spring led an unsuccessful fight against a new SSU fee to pay for a new student union, said higher tuition will limit access to the university system.
"We're talking about a public education here," he said. "How public can it be when you are constantly raising fees and not everyone can pay for college?"
SSU is already the fourth-most expensive CSU school, behind Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Humboldt State and Fresno State.
Starting in the fall, SSU students also will pay $1,278 a year for health and other campus services. That includes a new $50 a semester fee for mental health services. That brings that year's total fees to $6,748.
The SSU fee schedule does not yet include the $300 a year new student union fee that Gallino opposed. That won't kick in until fall 2012.
Like student leaders around the state, SSU students said the latest tuition increases was a sign of misplaced priorities.
"I don't think that education is valued highly enough in our political system," said Nicolas Carjuzaa, a sophomore and a student senator last year.
Carjuzaa, whose parents pay his tuition, said he personally won't be affected, but many students will. They may not leave SSU, he said, but the adjustments they make will impact their college careers.
"What's going to happen is that students will be able to afford it, but they'll be taking less than a full load, so they'll be staying for a fifth year," he said.
Based on his experience of previous tuition hikes, the latest may well lower graduation rates, said mathematics professor and SSU faculty chairman Ben Ford.
"The biggest impact I see is students working more and students having to take time off, which means they often don't make it back," Ford said.