The Colorado Commission on Higher Education will ask the legislature on Dec. 7 for an additional $100 million for each of the next five years to help fund state colleges and universities like CU.
The money would offset the rising cost of education so as to not pass on the cost to students in the form of higher tuition and fees.
Jenna Langer, executive director of the CCHE, said she doesn’t think the legislature will approve the money.
“The legislature will fund education the best they can,” Langer said. “But without a clear source of revenue, it will most likely not approve the $500 million over five years.”
However, Langer also said that if the legislature does fund the CCHE request, the taxpayers should expect and demand lower tuition in exchange for funds collected by the state.
Another source of funding for higher education in the state is the money from excess state revenue retained in accordance with the requirements of Referendum C, passed by voters in 2005. According to a memorandum dated Oct. 16 from Kirk Mlinek, director of the Colorado Legislative Council Staff, $253.6 million was spent on the College Opportunity Fund stipend in fiscal year 2005 to 2006.
But even with all this money coming into higher education, it simply does not equal the rising costs. That is why Langer is seeking the additional funding, she said.
Traditionally, CU gets its extra revenue by charging out-of-state students about five times what in-state students pay. According to the rates for fiscal year 2007, it will cost about $700 more in tuition and fees for an out-of-state student than it did in 2006, bringing the total to $23,540 a year.
The hardest hit by this high cost are the students and their families.
Jade Cunningham is a junior journalism major from California. Aside from some student loans, Cunningham said her parents pay for her education, and she is unhappy with the high cost.
“It is cheaper to study abroad in Paris than at CU,” Cunningham said.
Rachel Shahvar, a senior advertising major expressed one problem of such high tuition for out-of-state students.
“High out-of-state costs limit diversity on this campus,” Shahvar said.
To avoid the higher cost incurred by students from other states, Audrey Lawson’s family came up with a novel solution.
“My parents moved from Kansas to Colorado so I would have in-state tuition,” said Lawson, a junior art history major.
But the high cost of education does not just affect the students from beyond the state line.
Ricky Romero is a senior creative writing major and also a first-generation college student. He is from Colorado, and said that money is definitely an issue for him.
“The state should fund the schools more,” Romero said. “Without state money, college education would become inaccessible for a lot of students.”