DENVER -- The University of Colorado is defending its tuition increases to credit rating agencies who have begun asking whether demand is keeping pace with the rising rates.

At a meeting in Denver on Wednesday, David Solin, associate treasurer and director of liability management, told regents on the audit subcommittee that rating agencies have inquired about how much more the university can raise tuition before the school sees a drop in demand.

Solin told the regents tuition increases have not affected CU's credit rating. CU's rating is AA+ with Fitch Ratings and Aa2 with Moody's Investors Service -- ranking CU the highest among public schools in the state.

"They aren't concerned about tuition increases; they're concerned about what that does to revenue down the road if we have a decrease in demand," Solin said.

CU regents earlier this year approved an 8.7 percent tuition increase for in-state students on the Boulder campus. Since 2008-09, tuition rate increases have been about 9 percent a year -- except in 2012-13, when the increase was 5 percent.

The regents also approved a 1.9 percent increase for incoming non-resident students, who get a four-year locked tuition guarantee.

In-state tuition in the upcoming school year will be $8,760, and out-of-state tuition will be $30,538.


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"We believe with our out-of-state students, we may be butting up towards the top of what we can charge them," Solin told the subcommittee of regents. "But we are in a competitive environment."

Overall enrollment on the Boulder campus in the fall of 2012 dipped about 1.7 percent from the previous year.

Kelly Fox, chief financial officer for the Boulder campus, said a recent survey showed that 79 percent of Colorado students who were accepted at CU, but didn't enroll, went out of state for college or to private universities, suggesting their decision wasn't driven by cost.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.