October 21, 2010
Metropolitan State University of Denver
College financial plan calls for tuition increase, fee reduction
Metro State’s draft five-year Financial Accountability Plan (FAP), submitted to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) in early October, proposes a net increase in resident tuition and fees of $673.64 for the 2011-12 academic year for students taking 12-18 credit hours.
“When the legislature passed the Tuition Flexibility Bill (SB 3) last session, they made it clear that they would not be in a position to support our Colorado institutions with additional funding for the foreseeable future and that there was a high probability that there would be further reductions in support,” says Metro State President Stephen Jordan. “It gave me no great pleasure to be placed into a circumstance that requires me to make recommendations such as these to Metro State’s Board of Trustees.”
The nearly $674 figure equates to a 16.4% net increase, which would result from a proposed 21% resident tuition increase being offset by the reduction of the mandatory information technology and registration fees, the third-year increase of the mandatory bond fee for the Student Success Building as well as course-specific internet fees.
The proposed tuition increase for non-resident students, currently 3.6% of the student body, is 9%.
Metro State would still be among the lowest tuition and fees charged, considering the increases proposed by other institutions in their FAP reports. For instance, as shown in the Denver Post, Mesa State would jump to $5,447; CSU to $6,306; and CU-Boulder to $9,177. In comparison, Metro State’s tuition and fees would be $4766.16.
“Even with the proposed tuition increase, we will remain one of the most affordable institutions, not only in Colorado but, in the nation, with tuition rates in the bottom quartile of urban comprehensive colleges and universities,” says Jordan, adding that Metro State receives less than one-half the support per student that the next lowest funded four-year institution in the state receives.
Equally important to affordability, Metro State would set aside $3.4 million out of the estimated $7.8 million in new tuition revenue for student aid, bringing the institutional scholarship budget to $6.9 million. “This would ensure that low and middle-income students who qualify for financial aid would not be negatively impacted, as SB 3 requires,” Jordan says.
The five-year FAP proposes a 13% resident tuition increase in the 2012 academic year and 9% increases each subsequent academic year through 2015.
“The FAP proposal is not an absolute at this point,” says Natalie Lutes, vice president for administration, finance and facilities. “This is an ongoing process working with the CCHE on various funding models over the next several months.”