CU's rising tuition
In-state tuition increases at CU-Boulder since 2004:
2014-15: 3.6 percent to 4.1 percent *
2013-14: 8.7 percent
2012-13: 5 percent
2011-12: 9.3 percent
2010-11: 8.9 percent
2009-10: 8.8 percent
2008-09: 9.3 percent
2007-08: 19 percent
2006-07: 2.4 percent
2005-06: 27.8 percent
2004-05: 9 percent
* Proposed rate
COLORADO SPRINGS — The University of Colorado's Board of Regents on Thursday began early discussions about a tuition increase between 3.6 and 4.1 percent for 2014-2015 on the Boulder campus.
During a meeting of the regents' budget and finance subcommittee, CU system officials presented an early operating budget for the next academic year, which included potential tuition increases for the four campuses, projected expenses and the $100 million for higher education included in Gov. John Hickenlooper's proposed budget.
The regents aren't expected to vote on tuition rates until later this spring.
A 3.6 percent increase, if approved, would amount to an extra $314 a year for in-state undergraduates. A 4.1 percent increase equates to an extra $360 a year.
As state support for higher education has been dwindling in Colorado, the proposed $100 million increase would be a welcome relief if approved by the Legislature this spring.
"I'm really pleased that the state stepped up and they're putting more state funding in (for higher education)," said Chancellor Phil DiStefano. "We also want to look at increasing revenues on our own without increasing tuition or counting on state funds, so I'm very pleased with the (proposed) increase and I hope students will be, as well."
The proposal brought forth by university financial officials would increase tuition on the Boulder campus by the smallest percentage in several years.
The regents approved a 2.4 percent tuition increase for in-state students on the Boulder campus for the 2006-2007 year. Since then, increases have ranged from 5 to 19 percent.
The governor's request for higher education funding includes a $60 million increase for operating costs and $40 million for statewide financial aid. That plan also includes a tuition increase cap of 6 percent.
The CU system's share of the proposed $60 million increase for operating costs is expected to be $16.5 million. That translates to roughly $6 million for the Boulder campus.
University officials also discussed a state-mandated 4.5 percent salary increase for classified staff members, and a 3 percent salary increase for faculty and exempt employees, which together are projected to cost $29.3 million across the four campuses.
The boost in state funding this year allowed the Boulder campus to propose a tuition increase that's small relative to recent years.
"Having a $6 million increase (in state funding) that we can use to offset those mandatory expenses and others is really the difference," said Kelly Fox, chief financial officer for the Boulder campus.
The recommendations for the campus include increasing tuition 7.8 percent for international students next year, 3 percent for all graduate students and 2.9 percent for out-of-state undergraduates.
Boulder campus officials also projected a 6 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduates in each of the following two years.
The proposed increases are based on 30 credit hours a year for students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Tuition for in-state students in arts and sciences is $8,760 this year on the Boulder campus.
Regent Jim Geddes, R-Sedalia, asked the campuses to consider formulating an "option X," which includes no increase in tuition for next year.
"We have an opportunity this year to make a really strong statement that I think would substantially improve the image of the university and the opinion about the university amongst our state by not having a tuition increase," Geddes said.
Boulder officials said they feel the campus needs a tuition increase of between 3.6 and 4.1 percent to be able to make investments in the university's personnel, building maintenance, technology, compliance costs and others.
Regent Joe Neguse, D-Broomfield, said he wants to hear if students, faculty members and staff members think the increase range is appropriate, or whether they want the regents to consider a smaller increase.
"I've been very concerned over the past several years about the increasing cost, particularly at Boulder, and I think we have an opportunity this year to do something about that," Neguse said.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106 or email@example.com.