Steep hikes may come to tuition for higher ed in Colorado
The Denver Post
Colorado colleges and universities are proposing possible tuition increases for next year ranging from 9 percent to 21 percent – all made necessary by deep cuts to the state’s contribution to higher education.
But while parents and high school’s Class of 2011 face sticker shock, college presidents blame a state system that has long shoved higher education down a long list of priorities.
“You don’t get services for free,” said Stephen Jordan, president of Metropolitan State College of Denver, who has requested a potential 21 percent increase in tuition for next year. “The public either has to decide we are going to do it through shared responsibility, which is the tax system, or it is the responsibility of the individual. So far, the public has said it is the responsibility of the individual.”
Colorado ranks 48th in the nation in state funding per resident student for public universities and colleges. Since July 2009, the state has cut higher-education funding by nearly 60 percent.
The state cut $50 million in funding from the University of Colorado’s budget in fiscal year 2008-09 and an additional $71 million the following year.
Other institutions have also had to adjust to deep cuts.
Colorado must either find a sustainable source of funding for higher education “or continue to privatize it as the state has done over the past 20 years,” said Colorado State University president Tony Frank, who has requested an increase of as much as 20 percent. “My opinion is the state is far better served by sustainable funding.”
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