Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed cut of more than $60 million to the higher education budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year would equate to an estimated reduction of between $4 million and $4.5 million for Metro State.
The governor’s budget, delivered last Wednesday to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee (JBC), shows a $60,271,095—or 9.7%—overall reduction in General Fund appropriations for higher education.
“With a series of budget cuts in recent years, we have already made reductions and eliminated what we could,” says President Stephen Jordan.
Since the 2008-09 fiscal year, Metro State’s funding from the state has dropped from $49 million to $36 million (27 percent), while student enrollment has increased more than 10 percent.
To address these funding reductions and maintain operations, Metro State had a net increase in tuition of 18.1 percent for the fall 2011 semester. Nevertheless, the College continues to offer the lowest tuition and fees of Colorado’s five largest institutions—$895 less per semester than the next lowest.
“The combination of Metro State’s size and the role it fills in providing affordable undergraduate and graduate education to Colorado’s historically underrepresented students magnifies the economic impact that budget cuts have on the College,” Jordan says.
Vice President of Administration, Finance and Facilities adds that the College is continuing to work with the legislature and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education as the budget situation is “a moving target.”
Watch @Metro for relevant updates as the budget works its way through the JBC.
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