2008 state budget holds no mercy for out-of-state scholars
State lawmakers are putting the final touches on next year’s $17.8 billion budget and have included provisions allowing Colorado universities to raise nonresident tuition rates higher than the prescribed limit for the 2007-2008 school year.
Budget restrictions currently levy a 7 percent limit on tuition increases per year. CSU President Larry Penley failed to get approval to allow CSU to collect an extra $34 million in tuition revenue. Legislators then reached a compromise with Penley by waiving the 7 percent restriction on out-of-state rates for all schools and maintaining the limit for in-state increases.
“Lawmakers felt less responsibility toward out-of-state students, and that’s why we waived their tuition cap. We are governed by Colorado residents and their tax dollars, so we felt compelled to protect in-state tuition rates more,” said Joint Budget Committee member Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder.
Pommer said CU out-of-state students would likely not see too much of an increase because nonresident tuition was already very high. He said in-state students could expect to see the university max out its 7 percent limit on resident rates.
Evan Dreyer, spokesman for Gov. Bill Ritter, said the governor agreed to the tuition increases for out-of-state students in the wake of conflicts with Penley regarding CSU’s tuition cap dispute, which would have resulted in a 40 percent tuition increase for students.
As the budget was debated at the capitol, Pommer said, Penley introduced an 11th-hour proposal to increase his school’s tuition authority after “months of absolute silence.” Penley said the state was unfairly biased toward CU for allowing it to collect more tuition revenue than CSU.
“That is absolutely not true. CSU isn’t getting treated unfairly because the state gave all universities the same tuition cap,” Pommer said. “It’s one thing to raise tuition over time as CU has done and quite another to try and do so in one fell swoop like CSU wanted to do.”
For the 2006-2007 school year, the average tuition rate for an out-of-state undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences at CU was $22,450. A 7 percent raise would represent an increase of $1,572. Under the new plan, CU can raise nonresident tuition more than this. The average in-state undergraduate paid $4,554 in tuition for 2006-2007, which could see more than a $319 increase.
“Wow, this does not bode well for next year. I already pay over $25,000 to go here, and I don’t think I could stomach another round of tuition hikes. CU is making it very clear that they don’t want me here,” said Brendan Reilly, a sophomore history major from California.
Pommer said state universities and lawmakers planned a meeting for early June to discuss tuition figures and find possible remedies for the under-funded higher education system.
Contact Campusr Press staff writer Cassie Hewlings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tuition could spike by 7 percent next year
- Out-of-state tuition keeps CU afloat
- Employee discount for in-state tuition
- Higher ed takes a budget beating
- CU improving recruitment, retention of low-income students