Tuition, it always goes up … unless you’re an out-of-state student.
One large aspect of tuition at CU is out-of-state tuition, which plays a monumental role in paying for the overall cost of education at CU.
For instance, the undergraduate tuition rate at CU, including student fees, for a full-time in-state student for the 2010-2011 school year is $8,511. The undergraduate tuition rate, including student fees, for a full-time out-of-state student for ’10-’11 school year is $28,193, according to US News & World Report.
CU’s in-state tuition rate, including student fees, is $1,525 more than the in-state tuition rate for CSU students. CU’s out-of-state tuition rate, however, is $5,097 more than CSU’s out-of-state rates.
2009-10 Academic Year Undergraduate Non-Resident Tuition & Fees at Select Colorado & AAU U.S. Public Institutions graph illustrates CU's cost in comparison to other major institutions of higher education. (Graph courtesy CU's Office of Budget, Planning, and Analysis)
CU’s out-of-state tuition costs amount to what they do in order to help with paying for the overall costs at CU. According to the Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis, “One non-resident supports two residents,” and “non-residents are 1/3 of students, but 2/3 of tuition.”
According to the Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis, one way CU is trying to keep the number of out-of-state students choosing CU high is through the out-of-state undergraduate tuition guarantee.
The guarantee, started in the ’05-’06 school year, guarantees undergraduate degree-seeking, non-resident students at CU a flat tuition rate for four years; their tuition will not increase regardless of changes to tuition for in-state or new out-of-state students unless they stay longer than four years.
Click graph to enlarge. Out-of-state students will be locked in to the tuition rate of the year they enrolled at CU. In-state students do not have a tuition guarantee. (CU Independent/Ellie Bean)
This fall 8,574 out-of-state undergraduates are attending CU, according to the Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis. The number of out-of-state students this fall is very close to the numbers from the ’09-’10 school year as well as the ’08-’09 school year.
For some out-of-state students, while the tuition guarantee is a bonus, they said it was not the primary driver of their choice to attend CU.
“It [CU] was close, [it] had the mountains and it had the degree I wanted, which was Spanish with an emphasis on Spanish for the professions,” said Nick Canfield, a 20-year-old senior Spanish major from Kansas who pays out-of-state tuition.
Canfield said tuition was still a factor in choosing CU, however.
“It was less than an Ivy League and I got a scholarship,” he said.
Canfield also said the out-of-state tuition guarantee helped him decide to choose CU, but he still feels CU’s tuition is too high.
“I think it’s way overpriced,” he said. “They spend way too much on [expletive] we don’t need.”
Generally, out-of-state students apply to, and are admitted to, several schools. Since the announcement of the out-of-state undergraduate tuition guarantee, Office of Planning, Budget, and Analysis officials said, they have seen an increase in the number of these out-of-state students who not only apply to CU, but who choose to attend. Officials said they believe the increase is due to the guarantee.
Click graph to enlarge. Even with a tuition guarantee, out-of-state students still pay more in tuition than in-state students who do not have a tuition guarantee. (CU Independent/Ellie Bean)
Chelsea Thomas, a 21-year-old senior psychology major who pays in-state tuition, said tuition was also a factor in her choice of attending CU.
“I was originally planning to attend CU but I didn’t go here my first year because I got a full-ride scholarship to another school,” Thomas said. “I switched to CU after my first year, though, because the tuition for out-of-state would have been too much.”
Thomas said she did not know CU has an out-of-state tuition guarantee.
“I didn’t know that but it makes me kind of happy,” she said. “I know that out-of-state students pay a lot, so it’s good they have something like that.”
Ruth McClure, a 20-year-old sophomore psychology major who pays in-state tuition, said she doesn’t feel tuition is as much of a concern.
“I think it’s more the reputation of the school,” McClure said. “It’s more that the program and your degree matter. A career is more important than being a little in debt.”
This article is the first in a planned series of articles focusing on tuition. This story was inspired by Resolving Door, a CU question and answer site.
Contact CU Independent News Budget Editor Sheila V Kumar at Sheila.email@example.com.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Ellie Bean at Beanee@colorado.edu.
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