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Most Cal State University Campuses Now Charging A Fee To Graduate

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Graduating students at more than a dozen California public universities will have to hand over money before they are handed their diplomas.

Across the state, 15 of Cal State's 23 campuses have quietly instituted graduation fees.

Cal State East Bay charges $45 to graduate. At San Francisco State, the fee is $100 -- $60 more than it was two years ago.

Cal State spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said because tuition money can only be used for instruction costs, campuses must look elsewhere to pay for graduations.

At San Jose State University, students were not being charged for the larger university commencement at Spartan Stadium, but were asked to pay a fee for taking part in smaller departmental ceremonies.

"It's kind of insulting. It's like all of the stuff you make us pay for and then to get out of here on last time, on top of everything else? I'm ready to be done," said graduate Sonja Griffoul.

A university spokesperson said the smaller ceremonies are sometimes held in rented halls and are often catered with food and drink – extras not covered by tuition.

"I'm going to pay it yeah, because I want to graduate and I want to walk. I've worked too hard not to walk," said graduate Mike Grace.

UC Berkeley graduates don't pay a separate fee to get their diplomas, but commencement tickets cost $10 a head—even for graduates themselves.

The Bay Area News Group reports the following as examples of the fees:

San Francisco State: $100
Cal State East Bay: $49
Cal State Monterey Bay: $40
Fresno State: $35
Sacramento State: $63.50
San Diego State: $55

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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