Colorado State Governing Board Approves Tuition Increase; Costs for Incoming Freshman Up Less Than 5 Percent

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System today approved a budget that holds the increased costs for incoming students at Colorado State to under 5 percent despite a nearly 27 percent decrease in state funding for the university.

The board, in a unanimous vote, approved the $294 million education and general total budget for Colorado State that includes a resident tuition increase of 9.5 percent mitigated by plans to hold the line on increases in room and board costs to only 2.1 percent. Overall, an incoming resident freshman next year will spend, on average, 4.7 percent more than this year. The average tuition increase is about $250 for each academic year, while the room and board expenses, on average, will be only $116 more than current levels.

The university budget represents a reduction of more than one-quarter in state funding from the original budget figure of $129.1 million that was set in the legislative appropriation in May of 2002. Since that time, the state economic crisis has resulted in cuts in state funding of more than $34.2 million for Colorado State, leaving the total state support in the 2003-04 budget at $94.9 million.

"We understand this has been a difficult budget year for the state of Colorado, and a tuition increase is important for the university to maintain its outstanding education, research and outreach to the state," said Don Hamstra, president of the Board of Governors. "However, we as a board and a university system are also doing all we can to offset the increase for our students and keep an excellent Colorado State education affordable for all Coloradoans."

The 9.5 percent tuition increase at Colorado State is considerably less than the 22 percent hike that the university’s national peer institutions are, on average, raising tuition this year. These peers include Iowa State, Washington State, Nebraska and other similar institutions.

Overall, Colorado State’s FY2004 education and general budget was approved today to be $294 million, a 10 percent decrease from last year. The university’s lower budget will impact the number of faculty, program offerings, class size, athletics and outreach.

The total university budget, which includes research expenditure, auxiliary services as well as agency funding, is $631 million.

To help reduce the university’s budget, the board approved a decision to award no salary increases for faculty or staff for 2003-04.

"Although this has been a particularly tough year for Colorado State, I am especially proud of our faculty and staff for their demonstration of community and concern for the university’s future," said Colorado State University President Albert C. Yates. "As well, I have been pleased by our determination to remain steadfast in our people, quality and core programs."

Additional impacts from Colorado State’s budget reductions include:

  • Fifty-two full-time vacant faculty positions have been eliminated. These eliminations result in larger class size, reduced availability of some courses, fewer course options and increased reliance on adjunct and temporary faculty.
  • Two-hundred-twenty staff positions have been eliminated. Of these, 153 positions had been held vacant and 67 positions were occupied. The university is making every effort to work with impacted employees to place them in other positions within the university.
  • Reduction in outreach activities that meet state information and advising needs, especially in the areas of animal and plant agriculture, and environmental evaluation.
  • Elimination of undergraduate and graduate classes in agricultural extension education, industrial technology management and technology education, bioresource and agricultural engineering and animal dentistry.
  • Environmental Learning Center outreach programs have been eliminated.
  • Reduction in student advising staff.
  • Significant staff reductions in support services across campus – including student services, facilities and grounds support functions and business and technical support services.
  • University support for the intercollegiate athletic programs was also reduced.
  • Significant retrenchment in Colorado State programs and activities totaling 7.7 percent.

"Colorado State University supports the efforts of the Legislature and the Governor to look at changes in state financial constraints such as TABOR, Amendment 23 and the Gallagher Amendment to help stabilize the state’s financial condition," said Yates. "With an improved state financial structure, we hope that the state will make reinvesting in higher education a priority. We know from experience that Colorado’s economic return from investment in higher education is very substantial."