New legislation may allow public Colorado universities to raise tuition without state input, according to the Colorado Senate Bill 10-003.
Section 5-7 of the bill claims that “where institutions are currently subject to the state fiscal rules, the bill allows the institutions to adopt their own rules.”
Deborah Méndez-Wilson, director of communications at CU, said even though legislation passed, the university might not alter tuition.
“It’s hard to know right now,” Méndez-Wilson said. “No matter the state decides, the Board of Regents is the final check and balance in tuition setting.”
According to the CU Web site, in-state tuition for CU is $7,932 and out-of-state tuition is $28,186.
With a greater rise in college expenses, students said they worry about affording school.
Nick Boyce, a 22-year-old junior physics major, said he disagrees with the possible change.
“The state can change [tuition] however the state feels like it, but I don’t think the university can increase out-of-state and in-state,” Boyce said. “I already have a part-time job through the college. There’s not much more I can do.”
Paige Petrucka, a 22-year-old senior biochemistry major, said she expects the change to put stress on future students.
“I won’t be here for much longer,” Petrucka said. “I think it will impact future students negatively.”
Petrucka also said she thinks students should have a vote in tuition prices.
“People don’t want to pay more without voting on it,” Petrucka said.
Boyce said he disagrees with the lack of public input on tuition policy.
“It’s making a public school into a private school,” Boyce said. “What’s the point of state funding? Ideally, the public controls public schools via the state.”
According to the Colorado Department of the Treasury’s statistics through December 2009, the total balance including federal revenue and expenditures from July 2008 to June 2009 was negative $399.1 million. By cutting funding to colleges, the state can begin to use saved money to climb out of debt.
However, Méndez-Wilson said that if the tuition does increase, the money will go toward a good cause: financial aid.
“We reinvest a lot of tuition money in financial aid,” Méndez-Wilson said. “This year, $105 million of financial aid from tuition revenues helped make college available to students.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jennifer Retter at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.