The University of Colorado Regents have unanimously approved 2012-13 resident undergraduate tuition increases lower than proposed by the administration, ending for now a months-long wrangle over the issue.
But regents reduced the hit to students by trimming the size of a fund that provides merit raises for faculty and staff.
Here are the increases approved for Colorado resident undergraduates at system campuses:
- Boulder: Tuition will rise 5 percent. Full-time undergrads will be charged for 12 credit hours, up from 11.25 this year. The full-time tuition bill will be $8,056, up from $7,672.
- Denver: Per-credit hour tuition will increase 0.8 percent. Full-time resident undergrads will be charged for 15 credit hours, up from 13 this year. Increases will vary by student because a significant percentage of UCD students aren’t full-time.
- Colorado Springs: Tuition goes up 4.9 percent for a full-time bill of $7,050. The cost this year was $6,720.
A variety of different increases will apply to non-resident undergrads, graduate students, students in some special programs and to students at the Anschutz Medical Campus.
University administration had proposed about $12 million be set aside next year for merit pay increases. That amount is about 3 percent of total compensation in the system. The regents instead approved a fund of about $8 million, or 2 percent.
“We do need to be able to support our staff [but] at the same time I’m not entirely comfortable with the 3 percent,” said chair Kyle Hybl, R-5th District.
Once all the amending was done – and after regents temporarily moved to other agenda items while staff calculated the impacts of what the board proposed – there seemed to be good feelings all around.
“I’m pleased that we’ve all come together,” said regent Sue Sharkey, R-45h District.
“When we get more public funding, there will be a smaller tuition increase,” said regent Michael Carrigan, D-1st District.
Years of declining state funding – and the perceived unfairness of the current formula that distributes diminished state aid to individual campuses – were mentioned repeatedly during the Thursday meeting at the Auraria Higher Education Center.
Tuition has been a contentious topic for the regents ever since early administration proposals at the start of the year suggested double-digit increases in some cases (see story). Some regents also were unhappy with raises for a number of top Boulder administrators last year.
Going into today’s meeting, CU administrators presented two options for each CU campus. The two proposals for resident undergraduates by campus were: Boulder, 8.6 percent and 6.7 percent; Denver 9.4 percent and 7.3 percent; Colorado Springs 7 percent and 5.8 percent.
The administration recommended adoption of the larger increases – called option A – but the regents chose B and then reduced it further.
Earlier this month, the State Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education approved a 6.5 percent tuition increase for its colleges (see story). And see this EdNews article for what’s happening on other campuses.