CSU files plan to cope with worst-case budget shortfall
FORT COLLINS - A potential tuition increase of $525 per semester could
be one way the Colorado State University System would cope with a
"worst-case scenario" of continuing state budget cuts, according to a
plan filed with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education on Friday.
All state-funded institutions of higher education were required to draft
Financial Accountability plans with the CCHE under provisions of Senate
Bill 3, passed by the Legislature in the 2010 session. The bill
requires schools to file worst-case scenario plans in case state funding
continues to dwindle due to the ongoing recession.
Under the plan, CSU proposed to change its full-time student status from
10 credit-hours per semester to 12 credit-hours and to charge an
additional $525 per semester for the additional credit-hours. Currently,
a full-time undergraduate resident student pays $5,256 annually in
tuition. This proposal would raise that to $6,306 annually, effectively a
20 percent tuition increase.
The increase would generate about $16.5 million annually for CSU.
CSU's draft proposal to CCHE also includes the possibility of
implementing a more comprehensive differential tuition plan for
high-demand or high-cost programs to cover program expenses.
Brad Bohlander, CSU spokesman, said the draft proposal is only offered
in case state funding to higher education continues to drop in the
coming year. Otherwise, CSU will go forward with the tuition
increase allowed by SB 3 for fall 2011, up to 9 percent.
"If things remain as they are right now, that's what we will do," he
said, adding that new tuition rates won't be set until next June.
Meantime, the state legislature will decide in the next session that
begins in January how much the state can afford to give to higher
"This just gives us the flexibility to consider these things if the
budget situation continues to get worse for the state," Bohlander said.