Colorado Commission of Higher Education suggests new increase for CU
As budget planning begins for the 2007-08 fiscal year, it appears that University of Colorado students may be seeing a 7 percent increase in tuition next year.
On Nov. 30, the Colorado Commission of Higher Education (CCHE) released its fiscal year 2007-08 Department Budget Request suggesting a 3 percent increase in tuition revenue spending authority for community colleges, a 5 percent increase for four-year institutions and a 7 percent increase for research institutions.
The University of Colorado is considered a research institution.
According to the CCHE, this tuition increase will allow institutions the “flexibility to cover any underfunded or unanticipated mandatory costs and/or make any necessary market adjustments to tuition rates or structures.”
On Nov. 1, just one day after the CCHE issued its request, the Governor’s Office released its Budget Request for fiscal year 2007-08, which requested the same increase of tuition revenue spending authority for next year.
The budget request states: “Our tuition recommendation is for variable maximum rate increases, depending on the type of school. In addition, I am recommending flexibility for governing boards to make school-specific decisions if they deem them appropriate.”
According to Erika Smith, the budget director for the Planning and Budget Analysis Office, this is not an unusual request.
“This process happens every single year. It involves a lot of layers, a lot of people and a lot of politics,” Smith said.
The Planning and Budget Analysis Office is heavily impacted by tuition rates.
“Tuition Revenue is our largest cost strain at 70 percent of general funds,” Smith said.
This is compared to the 17 percent the Planning and Budget Analysis Office receives from state funding and the 13 percent it receives from other sources.
Students and parents can expect a final decision on tuition increase after the spring 2007 term is over.
“In the past, a final decision has come around March or July,” Smith said. “This is a very long process that starts with the state as a whole and eventually trickles down to higher education.”
Several students are unhappy about the proposed tuition increase.
“It is pretty ridiculous to think that another tuition increase is being considered just after the increase from last year,” said Andrew Hanson, a sophomore psychology major. “It makes me wonder this 7 percent increase might reflect the university’s ‘need’ for all of the new buildings going up around campus.”
Gracie Johnson, a sophomore communication major, said she doesn’t think the tuition increase is fair.
“I think if we had more interaction with staff at the university and gained a better education as a result, it would be fine,” Johnson said. “But I don’t feel like past tuition increases have increased the level of my education at all.”